As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect communities around the world, we have been listening closely to our global community for opportunities to provide continued aid and support.
In May, we reported that over $36,000 had been distributed from the Global Compassion Fund to meet needs around the world. Since then, we have released an additional $27,578 to groups acutely feeling the pain of the pandemic. These monies have gone to our partners in El Salvador, Mexico, the Navajo Nation, Spain, and multiple additional locations in partnership with Mennonite World Conference.
For those who have lost work because of COVID-19, basic necessities like food are the biggest concern. Mike Cassel, regional administrator for Latin America, says, “Many people have lost their ability to earn an income due to social distancing requirements.”
In El Salvador, Pastors Cesar Catalan and Tito Melera received $1,914 to make food packs for local families that lost work. The two congregations distributed 135 food packs that included rice, beans, cooking oil, salt, and sugar. Further north, the BIC Church in Mexico received $2,648 to purchase supplies for food packets which were distributed to 300 families in need.
COVID food insecurity is not limited to people overseas. The Navajo Nation, which includes areas in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, has been one of the U.S. populations hardest hit by the pandemic. Through BIC missionaries in the region, we distributed $1,502 for a wide variety of needs including groceries and WiFi upgrades for a single mom and her four kids who are schooling from home.
We were also able to support a house church that meets on the Navajo Reservation. “Our Sunday morning house church group of approximately 15-20 people has chosen to continue in-person meetings for now,” wrote Jason Oberholser, BIC missionary in New Mexico. Compassion funds purchased cleaning supplies and individually-wrapped food items to contribute to ongoing safety measures for this small church gathering.
Over the past several months, compassion funds have also been used to support the BIC church in Spain. The church was seeing growth before the pandemic, but active participation decreased significantly due to strict lockdown orders. They received $6,514 in compassion funds to help them cover the cost of their facilities.
Additionally, $15,000 was sent to a COVID-19 Global Church Sharing Fund started by Mennonite World Conference (MWC), a global community of Anabaptist-related churches. Through this fund, MWC has provided food, personal protective equipment, education, and more to communities in over fifteen countries, enabling our compassion funds to touch even more lives. Read more about these distributions.
Year-to-date, over $64,000 has been committed from the Global Compassion Fund to address needs directly related to COVID-19. Thanks to your ongoing generosity, we’re able to continue meeting physical needs of brothers and sisters around the world. Thank you!
Learn more about the Global Compassion Fund and how you can contribute.