- December 30th 2017 -
This New Year’s Eve will find me in Assisi with an IPM delegation focused upon the Hebrew & Christian Scriptures from the Perspective of Art, Faith, and Service. While back in a country that was my home for seven years—and where I first served as an IPM Project Partner in the early 90’s—I am reminded of Francis of Assisi’s famous dictum: Preach the Gospel Always, Only When Necessary Use Words.
Our work within the IPM Family remains fundamentally about just that: “preaching” through our actions in the world. The notion of lived rather than just spoken faith has been at the heart of IPM since our founding by former Lutheran Missionaries, Rev. Jim Mayer & Rev. Paul Strege and their families in 1974.
In the past year that faith has been lived out in countless, pragmatic and inspirational ways, directly impacting the lives of more than 60,000 people worldwide. Just some examples:
In 2017 alone, IPM provided funding, technical support, and training to Project Partners from more than 12 countries with a particular focus on our “hubs” in El Salvador, India, and Kenya;
During the past year IPM expanded our still new Fellows Program from India to Nepal whereby outstanding Project Coordinators are guaranteed a just annual income and consistent mentoring from IPM’s International Staff as they learn and mature as community leaders with the personal resiliency required to make change for the long-term;
IPM’s International Staff and long-term Consultants continued to provide essential training in their home & neighboring countries, expanded their personal expertise through further academic/professional training, and facilitated Regional Conferences and regional participation in IPM’s international forums with an eye our 2nd International General Assembly to be held in Cleveland in late 2018 (more exciting details to come soon!);
In the USA, IPM took a more active role, consistent with our founding principles, to advocate on behalf of the inherent human dignity and often denied human rights of immigrants, indigenous peoples, persons of color, people from minority ethnicities & religions, refugees, and women & girl children;
IPM continues to partner with Eden Theological Seminary (St. Louis), Yale Divinity School (New Haven, CT), Holy Cross (Worcester, MA), Saint Joseph Academy (Cleveland), and other faith-based and secular Program Partners who view our Immersion Experience Program as the perfect avenue for the transformational learning their institutions and students desire.
I could go on and on but my point is quite simple—IPM continues to transform lives in a manner that is making a tangible and sustainable difference in our world!
Please know that as a 100% privately funded organization IPM is completely dependent upon the generosity of people like you to ensure we continue making a difference in the world. You can support IPM directly right now by clicking here: DONATION LINK All donations made or dated prior to December 31st will count toward our special year-end Challenge Match made possible by the Singing for Change Foundation.
Thank you for all you do to make the work of the IPM Board, Staff, and Partners possible! We couldn’t accomplish any of what I’ve listed above without people like you.
On behalf of the entire IPM Family, please accept our best wishes to you for a joyful and peace-filled New Year!
Joseph F. Cistone
December 30, 2017