WXXI Local Stories
Tue December 24, 2013
Local Church Rediscovers Meaning of Christmas Through African Mission
The pastor of a local church says his congregation has found the true meaning of Christmas.
Parishioners of Northridge Church in Irondequoit and Greece are on a mission to help a village in north-central Africa. Pastor David Whiting believes American culture has distorted the meaning of Christmas. “It’s living these crazy, busy, expensive lives in December only to be depressed and in debt in January. We feel that Christmas has been hijacked from us by our culture and turned into consumerism.”
Whiting challenged his congregation to take back Christmas and give the most where the need is the greatest. The church has raised funds to help build a school and dig a well to provide fresh water to the village of Maramara in the African country of Chad. “It’s pretty unbelievable standing there at their water source. It was shocking to me. During the dry season, the women of this village will walk two miles, one way, to get water. And they do this twice a day.”
Whiting traveled to the village in October. He says the goal of the church is to partner with the villagers build a better future, not to hand them money.
The church has already raised more than the $40,000 needed for the projects.