Non-profit of the month: October, 2008 - Teach Overseas and Avenues
When I think of what it means to try to live out the Christian faith, I think of the command by Jesus, "Love your neighbor."
In our modern global village world, that will mean not only what happens on the streets of Los Angeles but also in a classroom in Central Asia.
Teach Overseas has been sending capable and winsome English teachers to countries in Asia and Europe since 1981. America's place in the world may draw mixed reviews among those in other nations but Americans who want to serve others by teaching English are most welcome.
A handful of friends I've known over the years have worked through Teach Overseas and they have the highest praise for the experience. Teach Overseas knows that going to a far away place in a completely different culture is not an easy thing. Thus, they have a careful selection process, rigorous training and team approach to supporting the teachers when they are far from home all contribute to the sterling reputation and many success stories of this terrific organization.
Be sure to check out their video describing their work.
The other fund raising dinner I went to was for an organization that brings "Love your neighbor" to women who have unexpected pregnancies.
Avenues Pregnancy Clinic has been offering pregnancy tests, counseling and practical support to women since 1988.
Last night, the main speaker was Hugh Hewitt who had been traveling with Dennis Prager and Michael Medved and giving speeches about this year's political campaign. But he wanted to keep his appointment with speaking to the supporters of Avenues because it was more important.
He shared that the personal direct hands-on love that the volunteers and staff at Avenues and other pregnancy clinics who support the choice for life does more for the cause for life than political action. He pointed out that more abortions are done in California than anywhere else in the USA and that was why the work of Avenues and other like-minded organizations was so important. Thus, the Avenues leadership has taken the bold step of leasing an office in Hollywood right across from Los Angeles City College.
Many of the women who are faced with unintended pregnancies are in the 18-25 age group and so the location right across from the college puts a needed voice for life right in the midst of those who need to hear it the most. Avenues director Dan Steiner pointed out that within several blocks of LACC, there is also a Planned Parenthood office and an abortion clinic.
These two organizations are sending people to meet people where they are at. These loving servants are being the hands and feet of Jesus on the streets of LA and in the classrooms of the world. They are the face and words of the love of Christ.