Pennies for Peace

Many of us dream of making a difference, a few make it happen. Greg Mortensen is a man who has made a significant difference in the lives of many people. In his book Three Cups of Tea, Mortensen recounts the failed attempt on K2 that led him to the small Pakistani village of Korphe. The people of Korphe nursed Mortensen back to health and he in turn promised to build a school for their village. He eventually raised the money to build them not only a school, but also a bridge that connects them to the rest of the world. And he didn’t stop there. Since then Mortensen’s Central Asia Institute has built over 20 schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan, primarily for the education of young girls.

Mortensen’s accomplishments would be impressive anywhere, but are particularly amazing in the area in which he works. These parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan are some of the remote sections of the world. They have also been heavily influenced by fundamentalist Islam. Mortensen recounts, again and again, the warm acceptance he has received from most of Muslim villagers in this area. But the fear of the Taliban hangs over their heads. His schools not only provide needed education, but also are a means of building better relationships between these villages and the West.

Pennies for Peace is a national program that supports Mortensen’s efforts. This fall our church school program will be leading us in collecting pennies to help build more schools in these areas. Starting this Sunday, you may bring pennies to church for our collection. We will be collecting pennies through October, and then will send them to Pennies for Peace (in check form).

This Sunday is also the beginning of our church school, and choir season. We will be sharing Communion in the service that kicks off our Pennies for Peace program.

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