SharonMcelwainCover

She travels the world. But it’s people who matter.

You might say Paraclete associate and world traveler Sharon McElwain finds herself in the right place at the right time.

She managed to be in Russia not long after the fall of communism, to invite spiritual conversations in a place otherwise void of talk of God.

She’s taught English in war torn countries where people get better jobs if they can become proficient.

And she was at her home in Estes Park, Colorado during this fall’s fires, requiring her to evacuate for a week.

“At 2:30 in the afternoon, the sky had an orange look,” she said. “Ash was falling on our car. All you saw was red taillights. Everyone was evacuating.”

Well, some would say that was definitely not the right place nor the right time. But she was able to witness God’s provision and even going through that evacuation has given McElwain a sense of comradery with friends in the Middle East.

“A friend in another country sent me a video of the flames coming to his house,” she said. “We had fires. He had fires.”

And with COVID-19 interfering with most of 2020’s travel plans, finding ways to connect with, encourage and help the many friends McElwain has scattered around the increasingly-isolated globe has been particularly meaningful.

“I really want to get back to my people,” she said. “They have all encountered horrible things, with job and health and fires. I would like to get back and encourage.”

Previously a public school teacher, McElwain has traveled to 47 countries, but often returns again and again to the same communities, to relationships she loves. She doesn’t have a favorite country, and while she’s had “beautiful experiences” everywhere, she cares more about people than places.  And she wants to care for them well, in the ways the communities request. She’s shown women who live and work in garbage dumps in Egypt how to sew and quilt so they can start their own businesses. She visits an orphanage in Zambia. She’s stayed with a Muslim family in the Middle East so she could teach English courses.

And wherever she goes, she tells stories.

“Many people where I visit don’t read or write, so storytelling has been a part of their culture for centuries,” she said. “They identify with it.”

She tells stories of how Jesus cared for women, often to women whose husbands beat them when they’re pregnant, call them names, and allow their oldest sons to mistreat their mothers, too.

“I try to incorporate how much Jesus loves them and how beautiful they are,” she said.

She tells parables about forgiveness in places with long histories of violence where people struggle not to hate their neighbors. And she talks to African children who bleach their skin about God’s care in creating the world.

“It makes me sad to think that people have to try to change how God made them because they’re ashamed,” she said.

She also sits with the hardest of questions. Like, why did God allow each of an African woman’s three babies to die before they were nine months old?

“It breaks my heart,” she said. “Their medical system is horrible. Their living conditions are horrible, Most only have one light bulb.”

But McElwain has seen God provide doctors for the sick, funding for sewing machines, courage in the face of machine guns, healing for her own cancer, and frequent instructions for how McElwain can serve others.

“Every morning, I wake up and make my coffee and I read the Bible,” she said. “I talk to the Lord and praise him for caring for me in such a beautiful way. I thank him for everything he’s given in partners and friends.”

God willing, and if she can get the COVID-19 vaccine in time, she’s got four trips—four opportunities to be in the right place at the right time again—scheduled for 2021.

“It’s all in God’s hands,” she said. “Just pray that God opens the door.”

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Our Mission

To come alongside Christian leaders around the world.

Methodology

  • We serve as catalysts, without personal or institutional agendas.

  • We stay only as long as needed and welcome.

  • We view all our work as spiritual activity with eternal significance.

  • We promote effective and Godly stewardship of resources as a model for business and ministry.

  • We practice the accountability of planning and evaluating our work, and teach others to do the same.

Financial Information

Financial accountability is important to Paraclete.  We have been members of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) since 1998.  Our Financial Statements were audited for 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 by Capin Crouse, LLP.  Paraclete is registered for charitable solicitation in all states that require it.

2020 Financial Summary

Revenues
Cash Donations
$3,824,681
Other Revenue
$14,174
Total Revenue
$3,838,855
Expenses
Program
$2,390,896
Administrative
$324,434
FundRaising
$258,024
Total Expenses
$2,973,354

Donor Privacy Policy

Paraclete Mission Group is committed to respecting the privacy of our donors. We provide this Donor Privacy Policy to inform you of the way we protect and use your information.

Information We Collect

  • Here are the types of donor information that we collect and maintain:
    Your contact information: name, organization/church, address, phone number, email address;
  • Your preference for which ministry your donation will be applied;
  • Your payment information: credit card and/or bank account information;
  • Information you choose to share with us: questions, comments, suggestions, how you learned of Paraclete, and;
  • Your communication preferences; e.g., to individuals who request it, we will send periodic mailings related to specific fund-raising appeals, prayer concerns, and newsletters.

How We Use Your Information

Paraclete Mission Group uses your information to help you complete a donation, communicate back to you, and update you on ministry activity and results. We use credit card numbers only for donation or payment processing.

How We Protect Your Information

We use industry standard safeguards to protect your information. We protect the security of credit card transactions using a number of measures such as encryption, access controls, network firewalls and physical security. Card numbers are never stored on our premises in any physical or electronic form. These measures make it extremely difficult for anyone to intercept the credit card information you send to us. When we work with other companies to process credit card transactions, those companies also use encryption and other security measures.

We Do Not Share Your Personal Information

Paraclete Mission Group will not sell, rent, trade or lease your personal information to other organizations. We hold the identity of donors confidentially. We will use your information only to further the ministry purposes of Paraclete Mission Group. We will not send you mailings on behalf of another organization.

YOUR RIGHTS – GDPR Specific

Personal Information

Where you have provided your consent to us processing your personal data, you may withdraw this consent at any time. In addition, the Global Data Protection Regulations gives you the right, under certain circumstances:

  • to request in writing and securely obtain copies of the personal information we hold about you;
  • to correct or update your personal information held by us;
  • to request us to stop using your personal information for marketing purposes or for any other purpose where there is no legal requirement for continued processing;
  •  to object to profiling activities based on our legitimate interest;
  •  to request to have all personal data deleted (in the EEA only). To exercise any of these rights please contact privacy@paraclete.net .

Please tell Paraclete Mission Group as soon as any of your contact details change so that records can be kept up to date.

We will take reasonable steps to correct any of your information, which is inaccurate, incomplete or out of date.

Removing Your Name From Our Mailing List

We will honor your desire not to receive mail from us if that is your preference. Please contact us if you wish to be removed from our mailing list. Donors with an online account with Paraclete Mission Group can establish and change their communication preferences, print receipts, make one-time donations and set up recurring automatic donations. If you choose not to have an online account you have the same degree of control when you call or write to tell us of your preferences.

Contacting Us

If you have comments or questions about our donor privacy policy, please send us an email at info@paraclete.net or call us at (719) 302-2500.

 

Statement of Faith

We believe the Bible to be the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His personal return in power and glory.

We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

equal opportunity employment

It is the policy of Paraclete Mission Group not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission and access to, or treatment or employment in its program or activities. As a religious institution, Paraclete is permitted and reserves the right to prefer employees or prospective employees on the basis of religion.