The frustration and suffering due to the Corona virus pandemic is almost palpable. In most countries globally, empty streets have defined the loneliness, hunger, and hopelessness that families have experienced for the past two months since most governments put in restrictions to movement and shut down businesses. The laughter that comes from children playing together, the chatter of women in the markets and cheering over sports have become a distant memory. What once was ‘normal’ is now rare. While the effect of the virus has been indiscriminate, yet like in any crisis, those already on the margins have borne the brunt of the devastation and felt its full impact.
As fear and uncertainty threatens to overwhelm, we here at ServeNow together with our committed partners are stepping up to meet the demands of our mission – to share Christ’s passion for the world by serving the most vulnerable. We take comfort in the words of psalms 91:2 that the Lord, “He is our refuge and fortress, our God in whom we trust”. We continue to reach out with hope and comfort to our brothers and sisters around the world undergoing unbelievable suffering, as far out as we can reach, and in return have received amazing testimonies from those whose lives have been touched. We take time to share a few of these great reports with you as our way of thanking you for your unrelenting support.
Hope for Moms and Babies in Ukraine: This week, we distributed food to several rehab centers in Ukraine. Svetlana, head of the rehab centers shares this testimony: “During this quarantine, the need for food in the rehabilitation centers for mothers with children is especially acute. ServeNow was able to provide food for four rehab centers, where a total of 40 adults currently live. These food provisions will be enough for a month. Your support helps prevent them from going back to the street again, and it helps them feel safe in the centers. After all, they often have nowhere else to go. Praise the Lord for his provision!”
A timely visit for a Mother in Burundi: The people of Burundi have suffered a double devastation. First from the effects of isolation caused by the corona virus and then from the displacement that has come with recent flooding. Amid all of this, kindness continues to shine. Madame Paynette, a Sunday school teacher in a small town in Burundi was all smiles when she received a visit from a pastor, who is one of our local partners there. Paynette’s house was destroyed by floods and she is now living in a tent provided by the Red Cross. And as the pastor explained: “We brought her a bag of rice and a bag of beans which should be enough for her family for at least three weeks. We listened to the touching and moving story of her life, with children and a husband, in a camp without water and sanitation, with mosquitoes which exposes them to many diseases including malaria and worms. We helped her set up the tent as it was getting late. We fellowshipped together in the little tent. Then we prayed for her and her children. What a beautiful time of fellowship and ministry. She said that we were the first to reach out to her”.
Joy in Benin: And here is more good news shared by our partners in West Africa. In Benin, the local women there are overjoyed despite the current pandemic situation. ServeNow partner in Benin has helped put together a small project for some local women, teaching them to make liquid soap. All the soap is handmade, using products found in the local markets. Once the soap is completed, it will be packaged and distributed to vulnerable people in the community who otherwise do not have resources to purchase hygiene items. The rest of the soap will be sold in the local market. This project is not only giving women in the community economic opportunity, but it is also helping others in the community stay protected from COVID-19 and other sicknesses. It is always a joy to see how one small project can touch so many lives
And from Nepal, as the effect of the pandemic continues to bite, ServeNow partners there have been coordinating efforts with the local government authorities to support families and communities suffering from food shortages in Kathmandu. So far, 1,500 families have been reached with essential food items such as rice, lentils, cooking oil, salt, as well as sanitation items such as soap, hand sanitizers and face-masks. Our partners continue to create awareness in their communities regarding preventive and protective measures against the corona virus.
Additionally, our national teams all around the world have continued to provide hope through our new Basic Series book “The Basic Things You Need to Know When Our World Falls Apart”. The book has been distributed to multiple countries and the message has been relevant and life changing, as Pastor Tehua, a partner who visited a cell church in the home of one of his deacons shares here from firsthand experience: “The deacon and his wife also a deaconess, decided to organize a Bible study of the special book ‘The Basic Things You Need to Know When Our World Falls Apart’ every Sunday with his family and invited guests. The deacon says, ‘I am happy to have this book. It prepares me to face every challenge I encounter in life with faith and determination. When I read the story of the young woman in Nepal, I had cried as I put myself in her shoes. As I read her story, I understood perfectly well that God does not abandon us in our difficulties. He is always a relief that never fails in distress. Really, this book comes at the right time to the right people and is encouraging not only for corona virus, but in every difficulty, we encounter in life!’”.
This is the hope that will continue to bind us together. As a practical demonstration of our commitment to serve the most vulnerable, ServeNow U.S. staff and board members recently raised $15,000 collectively to encourage giving during this time for those in need around the world. And so, though our world may be changing every day, our mission here at ServeNow remains unchanged. We are grateful for your partnership without which this would not be possible! This mission gets stronger day after day. If you would like to donate today in a way that your gift will be doubled in impact through this current matching grant, Click Here.