Project Update: Coronavirus CRISIS CARE
Thursday, April 9, 10:34AM
Food parcels for people in U.S. inner cities
Americans are bracing themselves for what could be a critical food shortage from the COVID-19 pandemic. As restrictions and stay-at-home orders increase, food manufacturers lack enough employees to process, deliver, and unpack groceries. Some food chains have already started rationing items.
People in U.S. inner cities who were living on low incomes before the pandemic are the first to be affected by this deficiency. Many have lost their jobs and struggle to afford food, which is increasing in price from the shortage.
Various Anabaptist groups who work in inner cities have expressed a need for food to help those in need. CAM is working to acquire food items in the midst of the shortage to distribute around 10,000 food parcels to families and individuals in inner cities. Along with the parcels, we plan to include Christian literature to offer much-needed encouragement and spiritual nourishment.
Project Update: Coronavirus CRISIS CARE
Updated: Monday, April 13, 4:07 PM
Billions of people around the world are grappling with the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Unemployment rates shoot off the charts. Medical supplies fall short of the large demand. Food shortage risks increase along with the prices. CAM has been receiving a steady flow of requests for assistance from around the globe, including the United States. Many of these requests include a plea for food aid.
We look to God for direction as we filter through the many requests and decide who and how to help. We anticipate the requests for aid to total millions of dollars before the effects of this pandemic are over. In the midst of this crisis, people are longing for help and a place of rest from anxiety and despair. We desire to share the hope of Jesus as we respond to the many needs. Following are a few of the ways CAM is responding in the midst of this pandemic.
Bible Lands: We are providing funds for food parcels, infant formula, children’s diapers, and medicines for children, the elderly, and other needy people in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Some of these items are also donated to a home in Bethlehem for handicapped children that had their support from Italy cut off. In addition, we are distributing around 6,000 face masks to several villages and to homes for the elderly.
Romania: CAM staff in Romania are providing bread and milk for elderly people who are alone, and for several orphanages on CAM’s Milk-for-Many-Mouths program. They distribute Christian literature along with the food.
Turkey: Refugees in the Middle East already faced uncertainty before the coronavirus crisis. Now their hardships have increased dramatically with food sources cut off. Our contacts in Turkey are gearing up to provide food for Syrian refugees and other needy families.
Food for the needy in U.S. cities: Soon after the crisis began, CAM donated 10,000 cans of meat to a Pennsylvania food pantry that is packaging food for needy people in inner cities. Due to the growing food instability, we are working toward packing 10,000 food parcels to distribute to needy families in cities of New York and Pennsylvania.
Food kitchen in Ohio cities: In a joint project with the Old Order Amish, CAM is serving food at drive-through and walk-through lunch stands in cities of Ohio. Hundreds of meals are provided on days of operation, along with Christian literature. Workers report that it is not uncommon for anxious recipients to cry when receiving a Bible.
Spiritual outreach: Six hundred Gospel messages are being posted on billboards in New York City, Chicago, San Diego, and Miami that give a message of hope and point people to Jesus. We are also producing cards with a phone number to reach our Billboard Evangelism phone team. The cards are distributed to coronavirus patients in U.S. hospitals and other places. A recent caller was in despair over the coronavirus outbreak and asked, “Is it always wrong or can a person who commits suicide go to heaven?” Our phone team member was able to encourage him with God’s Word.
Kenya: Our contacts in Kenya are setting up handwashing stations. We are helping to provide disinfectants, hand sanitizer, and educational materials on proper sanitation processes. Our staff in the country plan to provide food parcels for several thousand vulnerable people who are suffering from the financial crunch.
Liberia: CAM staff members in Liberia are working toward providing rice, oil, health kits, and soap to several thousand people in vulnerable communities and slums. They also plan to distribute Bibles and Bible story books.
Haiti: Prior to the present lockdown, millions of Haitians already lived in deep poverty. This crisis only intensifies the needs. We are purchasing food for distribution, providing funds for a water storage building project, and distributing Bibles, Christian literature, and hygiene kits.
Serbia: Many elderly people in Serbia are shut in without even the basic means of survival. We plan to provide 500 food packages for the elderly and needy who are cut off from food and medical supplies.
If you wish to help support the Coronavirus Crisis Care project, your contribution will help meet needs around the globe. Your faithfulness is always an encouragement to us and to those who benefit from your kindness.
We recognize that many of you have lost jobs or received pay cuts. You may wish to contribute financially, but find yourself in a time of need. Your prayers may be even more important in “such a time as this.” We covet your prayers as we make decisions daily. Your prayers for people around the globe will make a difference!
If you wish to help support the CORONAVIRUS CRISIS CARE project, your support will be a blessing. Pray for us as we consider requests for help that are coming in from around the world.
Update: Launch of Coronavirus CRISIS CARE
Tuesday, March 24, 8:03AM
CAM is introducing a CORONAVIRUS CRISIS CARE project. This is to respond to the increasing number of physical and spiritual needs and opportunities coming to our attention from the poorer areas of the world, as well as the United States, as a result of this pandemic.
Impoverished countries with minimal healthcare provisions will no doubt experience the worst effects. Our contacts in Egypt have grave concerns about the impact of the virus, which has already started to spread in the country. “If and when the virus reaches the poor villages, it will be a disaster,” they shared. “This is due to the lack of awareness on how to conduct themselves during this pandemic . . . and the lack of basic needs such as clean water. Impoverished people are working on a daily wage basis and cannot afford to stay home. More than once, I heard people say they’d rather die from the virus infection than from starvation!”
In Haiti, several people have recently been diagnosed with coronavirus. President Moise has instructed people to stay home and ordered most businesses, including outdoor food markets, to shut down. Haitians were already in a desperate situation from the recent political upheaval. Now they will no doubt face even greater hardships as most of them do not have a supply of food on hand for hard times. If they lose their jobs, it will be hard for many to even hope for a steady income in the near future.
Pray for us as we seek to show Christ in this time of need. So far, some of these needs are:
• Medicines, medical supplies, and medical care in places of the world where health systems are often woefully inadequate due to poverty and conflict.
• Emergency food aid to needy people in places like Haiti, Egypt, and Bethlehem who have lost their jobs or are quarantined.
• Soap, disinfectant, and other preventive supplies for war-torn Yemen and refugee camps in the Middle East.
• Christian literature in various languages with a message of hope that points people to Jesus.
• Special Gospel billboard messages in our nation’s largest cities to bring comfort and encouragement by pointing people to Christ.
The plans in this list are still in development, and undoubtedly many more needs and opportunities will surface in the coming weeks. The cost of the needs and opportunities of the CORONAVIRUS CRISIS CARE project is estimated to be $2,500,000-$5,000,000. If you wish to help during this time of special need and opportunity, your gift will be a great blessing.
Friday, March 20, 3:23PM
We live in unusual times, with much of the world in fear and turmoil. As of this writing, the new coronavirus (COVID-19) that originated from Wuhan, China, is spreading fast. It has now appeared in all 50 states and 166 countries, and killed thousands of people. Nearly every day brings new announcements from our government, some resulting in shocking changes. What really is this coronavirus scare? Is it just another Y2K (where the world was also afraid but not much happened) or is it a cataclysmic 9/11-type event (where a large number of people died)?
Government authorities everywhere are feverishly working under the assumption of the worst, since they dare not do otherwise. This is resulting in fear and uncertainty for millions of people in the United States and many other countries. However, as God’s children, we have a steadfast hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
While the coronavirus outbreak came suddenly and caught the world by surprise, we can be confident God was not caught off guard. God is as faithful and powerful as always. We know He can make good things out of bad. Is He maybe allowing this virus to give millions of people another chance to think and hear about God and prepare to meet Him? Most people will likely escape the coronavirus, but no one will miss their appointment with God.
Jesus came to this earth to suffer and to die so we can live. He rose from the grave, ascended, and went back to heaven. As Christians, we are Jesus’ hands and feet on this earth. Instead of cowering in fear, let us seize this moment to think and pray about how we can use this special time of opportunity to point others to the Savior. He is in control, not only of the coronavirus scare, but of the whole world.
CAM is exploring ways to respond to physical and spiritual needs in the USA and abroad, resulting from the pandemic. Pray for us as we seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this time of need. We will keep you posted as this project develops.