Together, we’re trying to lessen the burden on struggling families brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and spread the love of Jesus through food distribution, community development, and discipleship.
ESWATINI | Our staff in Eswatini (Swaziland) has been responding to a mounting COVID-19 threat. When lockdown measures were making it difficult for families to source food, we started delivering boxes of food to the neediest families of the 7,000 children living in the 40 communities we serve. Then, a donor and one of our food partners made it possible to deliver over 1 million meals! The CarePoint is opening with safety measures in place in order to provide food for children that they can take home.
CAMBODIA | Similar outreach has developed at our base in Cambodia, where the tourist and hospitality industries, which provide the income of a great majority of families near the base, have come to a complete stop. The team put together packs of food staples to distribute to hundreds of families in areas of greatest need. That's 10.7 TONS of rice, 970 dozen eggs, 3880 cans of fish, 388 cases of noodles, 1707 lbs of sugar, 853 lbs of salt, 388 liters of oil, 1552 bottles of soy and fish sauces! Each family also received a gospel tract and was prayed over. Gospel coloring books and crayons were given to the children. The food distribution has opened the door for further ministry as well.
SOUTH ASIA | The base team and local missionary partners in South Asia continue to raise support and distribute rice and essential food supplies to local villages and families who were already living in extreme poverty prior to the effects of the pandemic. For every $500 donated we can distribute a supply of rice to the neediest 70 families of a village, and ongoing efforts have helped to reach thousands of people. Together, we have raised $24,000 and given out nearly 80,000 lbs of rice to over 385 families!
In one village, there was a woman who lived alone in a small shelter on someone else's property. When one of our National Missionaries told her we were going to provide her with rice, she couldn't wait! Later that day when she showed up to receive the rice, she couldn't believe it! She thought that it would be 5kg of low-quality rice, but it was actually 25kg of high-quality rice that would feed her for a month and a half. She exclaimed, "No one is caring for me, but God has taken care of me!"
GUATEMALA | The Adventures Guatemala team has been distributing much-needed food and supplies to hundreds of struggling families in the villages where the teams and their local partners have already been building relationships and doing ministry. Donations have already allowed the distribution of essential supplies to nearly 500 families.
THAILAND | In Chiang Mai, response to COVID-19 has not only halted much of our ministry and growth at Zion and Bella Goose, it has also created an incredible opportunity to reach the community in the wake of the current restrictions. Many women we reach work as sex workers in desperation to survive or provide for their families back home. As all the bars, clubs and massage parlors also remain closed, we are reaching out to offer relief to women in these exploitative situations by providing food, housing, and vocational training opportunities through our facilities. Donors have already contributed over $4000 to cover the expenses of this ongoing project.
ARABIAN PENINSULA | Long-term workers are bringing hope to families who are in dire need due to the civil war, disease, and isolation compounded by the effects of the new virus. The country is struggling with a lack of medical facilities and resources. Our brothers and sisters of the underground church continue sharing the Gospel and helping their Muslim family and friends, as well as humanitarian help that they receive from a generous International Christian community. Against all odds, the church continues to grow.
UNITED STATES | With the growing spread of the coronavirus around the world, many countries began to close their international borders in mid-March. In response to safety and travel restrictions, we unexpectedly had to bring over 500 World Race and Semesters participants back to the US in less than a week. Since then, our staff has been working diligently to continue mentoring and encouraging those participants virtually during this uncertain time. We’ve also been working on plans to redeploy them (and future participants) domestically or provide future opportunities to continue their journey internationally. You can find our latest trip update here.