As the epicenter of the COVID crisis has shifted to developing nations, Texas Baptist Men is meeting extreme hunger needs through international ministry partners.
TBM is wiring funds to TBM water ministry partners in Kenya, Ghana, Venezuela and Peru, where families are struggling in the midst of COVID-19 shortages, lockdowns and precautions.
“In many of the places we serve, life before COVID-19 was difficult,” said DeeDee Wint, vice president of TBM water ministry. “The virus has made life that much more trying as people seek to protect their families from the disease while providing for them in increasingly difficult economies. Often, it’s the widows and children who suffer the most.”
Kenya deals with COVID-19 and floods
Portions of Kenya have been hit both by the virus and flooding, creating enormous needs.
“Things are becoming harder every single day. The schools, churches and businesses are closed,” said Anne Samoei, director of Gethsemane Christian School in Eldoret, Kenya.
“Also, we have a challenge of flooding. The drilled water brought real transformation. We had great irrigation, but heavy rains caused a lot of floods, posing a real challenge. The floods affected all the farms, making life harder and frustrating.
“We are now facing double tragedy—no source of income, no food. It’s only by God’s grace that we are living. We are going through the darkest moments of our lives.
“Thanks so much for responding urgently to help us and for your compassion. May our good God bless you in a bigger way.”
In Nairobi, Kenya, parents under extreme economic stress have to choose between feeding themselves and feeding their children. Street children are barely getting by. As a result, Mogra Children’s Rescue Center now has 500 children and staff in its compound. The ministry served more than 300 when TBM installed a well and water system last year.
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TBM funds provided a way for all the young people to have something to eat delivered to the rescue center.
“The babies had no milk,” said Hannah Wairimu, founder of Mogra Children’s Rescue Center. “We are glad to say a big thank you for the support at Mogra. May God bless you abundantly.”
In Kendu Bay, Kenya, TBM funds provided food for widows who by tradition are not allowed to remarry. Most widows here are unskilled and caring for many children, making them vulnerable when times become more difficult.
“Thank you for your lovely support, and today many were so happy and thankful,” said Pastor Alfphonce Adoko. “Three widows cried as they shared that their children hadn’t eaten in two days.”
South America a hotbed of COVID-19
South America may be the current hotbed for COVID cases. With people living in crowded quarters and a lack of plumbing and clean water, the virus has enveloped parts of the continent.
Despite an early and thorough shutdown in Peru, more than 180,000 people have contracted the virus. More than 5,000 people have died as a result. People are getting in line at banks at 2 a.m. to withdraw funds before banks close. Food is increasingly difficult to attain because families have no money. People are dying in the streets.
Iquitos, Peru, the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road, has been hit particularly hard. A TBM-trained water well drilling team is using TBM-sent funds to provide food for desperate people there.
“All these people didn’t have anything to eat the day before, so guys, your help was gold and precious to all the 40 families who received the donation,” said Kenny Ojanama Coquinche, a pastor and manager of Water Access in Peru. “Some of them cried and others were amazed. All gave thanks to the Lord and prayed with us, giving thanks and gratitude in this hard and dark time here in Iquitos.”
TBM water ministry continues happening even as the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect the world. The wells the ministry has repaired or drilled continue providing clean water to drink in places that have never had it. Local groups continue hosting hygiene classes that are now even more valuable.
“What we love the most about this program is how people here in Texas can have a part in helping pastors around the world spread the gospel while helping feed people in need,” Wint said. “They notice that Christians care about them.”
With information provided by Dee Dee Wint.