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April 3, 2020

Dear Friends,

Three weeks ago, I, along with my 3 travel companions, stood in a refugee camp in South Sudan. To be accurate, we stood in a very basic Reformed church building whose members begged us not to forget their plight - many of them had been there for 6 years. COVID-19 was a concern but still a somewhat distant one.
 
Zoom forward to today. I have just come out of a 2-week quarantine in my home after catching one of the last flights out of South Sudan via Cairo. While we have some financial reserves, our partners have been asked to identify essential programs and areas of cost-cutting as we expect that our donations may be impacted as the economic effects of the pandemic are felt in North America.
 
While we wrestle through the financial implications of COVID-19, our partners are also wrestling with many new challenges. While some projects have been shut down, others, such as schools, continue as teachers use various means to keep their students studying.
 
In India, due to a 3-week lockdown, those who normally live on a few dollars a day are struggling to find work, money, and food. Our partners are striving to provide for many of those in need in the areas of where their projects are located.
 
In South Africa, the country is in total lockdown. The Nakekela Clinic has shut down since it isn't equipped to deal with a virus like COVID-19. The currency is devaluing, church services are canceled, and few people have electronic means to take part in online services. There is much fear and discouragement.
 
In Colombia, our partner informs us that while schools normally provide a safe haven for a portion of their students who come from at-risk families, that haven has now been removed as schools have been forced to close.

In Haiti, medical personnel are abandoning hospitals which are unsanitary at the best of times. Food supply is a growing concern among the members of the Adoration Christian School community.

Hospitals in the DR and Guatemala have reduced their services and are struggling to implement COVID-19 testing and care for sick patients while also ensuring that their staff is properly protected.
 
COVID-19 now seems to dominate our lives. Should it? Should anything overshadow God in our lives? In Isaiah 41, the Lord says to His people, "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." 
 
Do you and I really take that to heart?
 
Because if we do, then while we are called to obey authorities, we need not fear.
  
Will you pray for Word & Deed Ministries and our partners? Will you join us in reflecting our gracious and merciful God into the lives of the poor in faraway places?
 
Are you able to help us feed the hungry through our partners? Are you able to help ensure that our partners' projects continue to run or restart at the appropriate time?
 
May the Lord grant us wisdom, generous hearts, and confidence in a sovereign God Who says, "Fear not, for I am with you."
 
These donation links allow you to donate to Where Most Needed for the critical operations of our ongoing projects or directly to COVID-19 response.
 
 

Rick Postma
Public Relations | Word & Deed Ministries

 
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