ServeNow ‘s mission statement starts out by saying: Serving people in need by caring for orphans, widows, underprivileged children and youth. Our mission statement ends by saying: and providing humanitarian assistance where needed.
These two statements are broad enough to allow us to be flexible according to the need of the moment or season; yet, specific enough to focus our attention on serving those around the world who are most vulnerable. There are several ways that these aspects of our mission statement are being practically fulfilled. One way of serving people in need… is through our Lighthouse Centers in the slums of India. Also, starting this year, we have two new centers in Nepal, plus a new one in India, where children receive an education, warm meals and clothing. Right now, we are responding to the need for water in India, already serving over 3,000 people in a couple weeks time. Widows and elderly people also receive blankets in the winter months in Northern India and Nepal. One of our lighthouse centers is home to 13 children with HIV. In addition, during the summer months in Ukraine and India, we host summer camps for underprivileged children and youth. Throughout the year, we also host Medical clinics in India and Nepal, serving the poor, elderly and children. During the Christmas season, over 7,000 Christmas gifts, filled not just with gifts, but also practical daily necessities, are distributed in Ukraine to refugees, orphans, elderly people and the poorest of the poor. We are also actively looking for ways to serve refugees both in the countries of the Middle East as well as in Europe this year. In Uganda, Africa, we are helping to rebuild classrooms that are in the stage of collapse. These schools are part of a network that offers education to 3,000 orphan children.
In regard to the last part of our mission statement: providing humanitarian assistance where needed, this can be done in different ways. In 2015, one of our biggest responses was to the need in Nepal, following a devastating earthquake in April. Over a two month period, we served 12,000 people in desperate need in one way or another (read more here: Nepal Earthquake).
Another major way this last part of our mission statement is fulfilled, is through what we call Containers of Hope. Through a partner organization, we are able to ship forty foot containers filled with items such as medical equipment, hospital beds, wheelchairs, crutches, clothes and personal hygiene supplies. These items are greatly needed in various parts of the world and are in good working condition.
For example, the container sent to Uganda helped to establish medical clinics at each of the eight school locations that our network of 3,000 orphaned/disadvantaged children attend. Not only does this serve them, but the entire community. Most of the school locations are in poor, remote communities.
In Ukraine, humanitarian aid is distributed to local hospitals, boarding schools for orphans, and homes of elderly and disabled people. Sometimes, children in orphanages have to share clothes. Homes for lonely, elderly people often request the most basic items, such as soap, powder, toothpaste, bed linen etc. Unfortunately, many disabled people cannot afford items such as wheelchairs, which would enable them to move about independently and socialize in the community. Instead, they end up spending most of their time at home, alone.
We have received so many heart-moving stories from those who have been the recipients of a wheelchair. Here is one of the most recent stories:
Dasha is 11 years old. She was born with cerebral palsy, but her parents were not aware of this until Dasha was eight months old. It was a shock for this family, and they didn’t know what to do. Unfortunately, there no social centers or programs in this city to help these children. Dasha’s mother spent all her time taking care of her daughter, and her father works very hard to provide the necessary income. However, this winter they received an electric wheelchair from ServeNow which changed their lives. Dasha’s father said: Thank you very much! This is such a big help for us. Now Dasha can go places independently in her wheelchair, and she can even give her little sister a ride. We can walk in the park as a family or we can go to the store together. This gift has touched our hearts deeply. Thank you!
In the next month or two, we aim to send a container to Panama. In order to do this, we are partnering with a mission organization called Sport X Change. While this ministry mainly focuses on using sports as a platform to share the Gospel in Latin America, they also have good partnerships with other organizations that especially serve people in need in various ways around Panama. One of the ways this container will help in Panama is in regard to establishing a new orphanage for special needs children in one of the poorest parts of Panama. Children with special needs are often neglected; “healthy” children are adopted out, but the children with special needs are being overlooked and not taken care of as is needed. The equipment that will be sent to them will be of great help to get this orphanage up and running. Another medical ministry will also benefit; this ministry serves indigenous people in remote villages all over Panama. The medical equipment being provided is a great encouragement to them during a difficult time, as one of the leaders of the organization recently passed away.
These practical and tangible items not only meet real physical needs, but also open doors to bring the hope of the Gospel. In fact, Jesus often met people’s physical needs (feeding the multitudes, healing those with various sickness/diseases) in conjunction with meeting people’s spiritual needs of forgiveness, hope, peace and joy.
We are privileged to be able to serve people in need/refugee’s and pray for more opportunities to do so in the coming years! To help us accomplish this and more, you can give here: Help Provide Containers of Hope!