FORT DODGE, IA (April 25, 2013) – When a newspaper reporter called Allan Redenius, pastor of First Covenant Church, and asked if she could write a story about the congregation for a special newspaper insert, he replied, “I have a better idea.”
He preferred she do a story on Covenant Kids Congo Powered by World Vision, which he has been trying to publicize any way that he can. He talked with her, but also directed her to the project’s content on the Evangelical Covenant Church website.
The historic development initiative involves sponsoring a child in Gemena, Democratic Republic of Congo – the millions of dollars in projected donations will be invested in the community. It is a partnership of the Evangelical Covenant Church, World Vision U.S., World Vision Congo, and the Congo Covenant Church (CEUM).
Redenius wants Fort Dodge residents to know the initiative is more than a project for Covenanters. “I want to involve everyone we can.”
In addition to getting a story in the newspaper and bringing it up in many conversations, he has spoken on local radio station KVFD-AM. He said this morning he is disappointed he hasn’t gotten around to putting up billboards.
Redenius’s passion for the project ignited when he heard President Gary Walter announce the project during the 2012 Midwinter Conference for pastors. “For some reason, it just affected my heart. These (children) could have a better life if we just gave up a little bit.”
He began studying all he could about the country. The pastor didn’t wait for publicity materials or the formal launch of the initiative. “I started discussing it with church members long before Hope Sunday.”
So far, the congregation of around 100 has sponsored 48 children. A married couple that doesn’t attend the church has sponsored two children.
Redenius hopes more people will sponsor children. It’s a matter of spreading the information and offering the opportunity.
Redenius says he understands that everyone can’t afford the $40 a month sponsorship, so he encourages people to partner in the effort. Several people in his church are collectively contributing to the support of at least one child.