Bridges to Community (www.bridgestocommunity.org) is not affiliated with any denominational or sectarian church or faith-based organization. Instead, we come alongside both secular and faith-based groups to provide them with a means of making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. Faith-based groups frequently send their members on our volunteer trips to the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. They routinely report back to their congregations after these trips about how thrilled they were to have the honor of reaching out and expressing their beliefs through loving actions.
What Faith in Action Looks Like with Bridges to Community
Faith-based groups are given a variety of different ways to show love and compassion to the communities we serve through Bridges to Community. These opportunities include such tasks as:
1. Constructing Educational Facilities
Assisting with building schools, community centers, and other educational facilities is the primary goal of some of our trips to these impoverished communities. Since most religious organizations are strong believers in the importance of education, many of our faith-based team members find these types of trips especially rewarding. In these poverty-stricken regions, problems such as teen pregnancy, joblessness, and child labor exploitation are epidemic. These dire circumstances are perpetuated in part as a result of poor educational opportunities. Imagine the joy and satisfaction of knowing that because of your group’s efforts, an entire village would be able to better educate their young people to break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness!
2. Constructing Homes
Providing for the “least of these” is a major emphasis for many faith-based organizations. Basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter, have been offered to those in need by religious organizations for generations. Many poor villagers in the communities which Bridges to Community seeks to serve are living in unsanitary, cramped living quarters. Community leaders will meet with Bridges to Community organization leadership to help determine worthy candidates for home construction assistance. Your group could have the privilege of helping to build safe, adequate housing for a needy family during your service trip.
3. Providing Health Care
Faith-based groups often see ministry to the needs of the physical body as an essential element of caring for their neighbors both at home and abroad. If you have members of your congregation with backgrounds in health care professions, they may be drawn to Bridges to Community’s Public Health-Focused trips. These trips include providing basic health and dental care and improving lifestyles through the installation of indoor cooking facilities and hygienic latrines.
4. Improving Economic Conditions
Laypeople or ministry personnel in your faith-based group with business experience may be able to help with one of our economic development endeavors. These involve teaching local community leaders about managing community funds which offer interest-free loans to community members setting out to start agricultural or business ventures. Our organization provides helpful advice based on research to help each area determine which economic activities may make sense based on the natural resources found in that region.
Faith-based groups are free to spend time together with their members each evening discussing the trip’s events in light of their belief system.
If your faith-based organization would be interested in partnering with Bridges to Community to make a lasting impact through one of our week-long service trips, get in touch with our team today (www.bridgestocommunity.org) to learn more.