Many people in New York City have been off work for two to three months because of the coronavirus pandemic. While some are able to start work again, many are still waiting for something, or anything, to reopen so they can find work. Christian Aid Ministries has been working with a Mennonite church in New York whose contact says, “Over the next few months here in our community, the need for physical help will continue. People are falling behind in their rent payments and bills.” To help some of these vulnerable people, CAM provided parcels for a food distribution in New York.
Church members in New York arranged a day to distribute the 1,000 food parcels we provided. Some people arrived three hours prior to the distribution to make sure they would not miss out. One recipient shared, “My wife and I have been out of work for three months. Thank you so much for the food box!”
Follow-up contact with food recipients
As people filed through the distribution line to get a food parcel, the church members offered Christian literature and took each recipient’s phone number. In response to follow-up messages, some people shared prayer requests and opened up about their lives.
One lady shared her story of traveling with her husband from Colombia to New York in December as tourists. She said, “My husband got sick and died from COVID-19 and now I am stuck in New York City without any money left. . . . Please pray for me.”
Openness to the Gospel
The church members sense a softening of people’s hearts during this crisis. They said, “Helping our community physically gives us a wide-open door to meet spiritual needs as well.”
A recipient wrote to them, “I first want to let you know that I was moved by your gracious food drive. I have been looking for a new church in my neighborhood. I would like to know when you will reopen to visit you.”
Arranging a food distribution in New York was possible only because of generous supporters like you. Thank you for caring about the needs of our “neighbors” in the USA. We are getting a steady flow of requests for more food parcels from Anabaptist groups that work in New York City as well as other cities in the USA.
With your help, we continue to reach out to people in the USA and around the world. So far the requests for aid total more than six million dollars.
If you would like to donate toward Coronavirus Crisis Care to help people in distress from the global shutdown, click the button below.