As we approach the New Year, many are eager to erase 2020 from their memory.
At the same time, God has done infinitely, immeasurably more than we ask or imagine—despite a pandemic, shutdowns and closures, a presidential election, racial tension, social distancing and unemployment—through the financial generosity of Southeast Christian Church’s members.
John 3:8 says, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“As a church, it is our prayer, it is our commitment, to catch the wind of the Holy Spirit,” Southeast Senior Pastor Kyle Idleman said. “Nobody can say, ‘Look what the government did,’ and nobody can say, ‘Look what one person did.’ It’s because of what Jesus did through the local church, and I just want to say thank you. Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity and the sacrifices that you’ve made, and because of that, the church has been able to reach out to one person at a time during a season when the needs have been so significant.”
At the end of 2019, Southeast members gave $3.2 million in offerings toward the Catch the Wind fund, which would be used in 2020 as God moved.
To say the least, God has.
Here’s a snapshot of how Southeast has caught the wind in the community, across America and around the globe.
>In January, Southeast announced the launch of the Bullitt County Campus, a county where 92% of its 82,000 residents are unchurched. The campus held its first service Oct. 4 at Eastside Middle School in Mount Washington.
>In March, Southeast shifted its attention to expanding SE Online, which has helped the church stay connected in thousands of homes during the pandemic. Individuals and families have digitally engaged in almost all 50 states and in 35 countries, including India, Singapore, Malaysia and Madagascar. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections, for example, has shared Sunday services across its state prison system to more than 35,000 incarcerated men and women. Financial giving has also come from 27 different states.
>In March, Southeast gave nearly $70,000 and delivered more than 10,000 meals to healthcare workers and first responders in the community.
>Southeast sent out seven new missionaries despite travel restrictions during COVID. It also helped with three international church plants in 2020.
>When school meal programs were shut down, Southeast provided 5,000 meals to vulnerable children and families.
>By hosting several food drives at each of its campuses, Southeast donated just under $500,000 in food and hygiene supplies throughout the community.
>Southeast contributed close to $100,000 to children’s services, social workers and foster families.
>Due to increased unemployment, Southeast gave more than $500,000 to assist families and individuals with rent and mortgage payments.
>In India, Southeast donated $100,000 to go toward feeding and caring for its people.
>A total of $200,000 went to medical trainings and providing clean water for those living in Africa.
>Through its local church plants, Southeast gave $55,000 to deliver food to 555 Afghanistan families.
>In Indonesia, Southeast was able to bless 2,000 people with food and medical supplies totaling $20,000.
>In August and September, Southeast launched two community campuses: SE Multination Community Campus and SE Beechmont Community Campus. Community campuses are designed for groups that cannot attend a regional campus due to barriers such as geography or culture.
>In September, Southeast announced that South Louisville Christian Church would be its 14th campus location. South Louisville planted Southeast in 1962 when Pastor Olin Hay sent out 53 church members to start a church in an elementary school in southeastern Jefferson County.
>In November, Southeast hosted the Global Missions Health Conference virtually and reached more than 2,200 health workers and medical students from 67 countries. GMHC is the largest medical missions conference in the world.
>This month, Southeast donated 600 Christmas meals to local schools that were distributed to families in need.