Serving Neighbors Here and to the Ends of the Earth
Members of Park Presbyterian Church have made it their mission to love God and neighbor. Their definition of neighbor includes not only the next-door neighbor, but people living in nearby communities and other countries. They draw their view of mission work from Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Park Presbyterian follows the mandate to witness to the ends of the earth by partnering with Young Life in Nicaragua. Closer to home, the church rehabilitates homes for the working poor in West Virginia.
The church recognizes that there are people very nearby that need assistance –spiritual, physical, and emotional. On a local scale, Park Presbyterian reaches out to neighbors in Beaver, Beaver Falls, Midland, and Aliquippa. When Mark Boyd, the current pastor of Park Presbyterian, first moved to Beaver County in 2010, he began to search for a ministry that the church could support.
According to Boyd, what the church looks for in a missions partner is, “vibrancy and well-formed missions perspectives that empower people.” Park Presbyterian was looking to support a ministry that met people where they are at. They found these qualities in Aliquippa Impact.
Upon hearing the history of AI, Boyd was moved by the work being carried out in the lives of children. Since then, Park Presbyterian has supported Aliquippa Impact financially.
Boyd says, “We looked at AI and saw that they were doing the right things. It’s a Christian-based organization that looks to help children in need. It met every dynamic we were looking for.”
What Boyd finds most exciting about AI is their mentoring program. He says, “I look to the Bible for examples of this and think of the Apostle Paul. He had someone that mentored him and he, in turn, mentored someone else. I think that’s the call for discipleship. Part of what I appreciate with Aliquippa Impact’s ministry is that they are trying to put positive influences in children’s lives. They need to know that they are loved by someone and someone cares for them on a relational level.”