As the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide top 12 million, many questions remain. What is the origin and severity of the disease? What is the wisdom of lockdown measures? At CAM, we try to leave these questions to others and focus on helping people affected by coronavirus. This is possible through partnership with you.
One thing we know is that the economic impact of this pandemic has been devastating for millions of people around the world! This is especially the case for people who were living in already impoverished countries. This includes the world’s 75-plus million refugees and internally displaced people. A huge number of individuals have lost their jobs and are suffering from hunger. Many fear starvation. The coronavirus pandemic may be the most widespread and simultaneous tragedy the world has seen since the days of Noah and the flood.
God brings good out of bad
God always has a way to bring good out of bad. The positive side of COVID-19 is the opportunity to share the Gospel. The fear, loneliness, stress, and uncertainty of the future are seriously shaking people’s confidence in the supposed wisdom of man. This is opening many doors of spiritual opportunity as people seek after God in a new way. The Bible tells us that one soul is worth more than all the wealth of the world.
Many of our COVID-19 projects around the world focus on the need for food. But we are also trying to include Bibles, New Testaments, or Bible story books wherever we can. In one restricted country, our contacts are preparing to distribute Bibles to over 100,000 people. Hundreds of billboard messages are being posted in America to point lost and lonely people to Jesus, our Lord and Savior. He is the ultimate solution!
Largest CAM project
We anticipate the Coronavirus Crisis Care project to be the largest CAM has ever undertaken. Our earlier estimate of needs and opportunities was $2.5–$5 million, but we now expect the total to exceed $10 million. At this writing, your contributions have enabled us to help with more than one hundred projects in forty-four countries around the world. We are working with staff on the field and trusted contacts to distribute the much-needed aid.
Words from some of our many contacts:
Middle East: “. . . an elderly man dressed in his long robe and turban started desperately greeting us and begging us to follow him to his home. He claimed they had no food in the house!” The desperate condition of these Syrian refugees was confirmed by a visit to the very poor abode inhabited by 15 people; only one young man had work. In war-torn Syria, the unemployment rate is 80 percent and food costs have doubled.
Vietnam: “When we supplied food packs to the poor recipients who had no food left and were starving, they were very much touched and encouraged. Why would some people from far away help them?”
Pakistan: “My heart breaks when I see poor Christian families and helpless children. . . . I cried when children were saying that they don’t have enough food to eat.”
Kenya: “In the midst of this crisis, people are longing for help and a place of rest from anxiety and despair. We desire to share hope and point people to Jesus as we respond to these needs.”
Restricted country: “One long-term need I can see will be for more Bibles, as across Asia many thousands are coming to the Lord because of this.”
Malawi: “Orphans . . . had stayed for many days without eating anything since the lockdown, and depended only on water to live.”
India: “. . . people are starving for food because of the lockdown. . . . Since two months the poor peoples lost their daily work . . . so they are all without food. Small children are looking for food . . .”
Nigeria: “An elderly widow burst into tears of gratitude last week when she received a food pack for her family of five. She exclaimed, ‘God has heard my cry! They locked us in for fear of coronavirus only to have us attacked by devastating hunger. What coronavirus could not do, hunger may achieve!’ ”
Thank you for your generous gifts that are helping people affected by coronavirus. One comment from a contact in the Middle East echoes our thoughts: “Words are not enough to express our gratitude for all your love and care! God bless you!”