Many countries in Asia can be complicated places for Christians. When a political party controls the government and is against all religions but their own, it makes life hard and can be deadly for Christians. Another difficulty Christians face is when authorities take control of the country by force, making their rule totalitarian, cutting off or monitoring communications from the outside world and arresting those who oppose their ideologies instills fear in the minds of people.
Word & Deed has six partners located in countries whose governments function as mentioned above. We have to care for these people by protecting them from possible persecution and not mentioning them on any online content. We can tell you about the various ways in which they minister to their people. They do so through the operation of Christian schools, afterschool programs, medical caravans, a sewing program for poor women, and theological education.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” John 15:18-20a
Colombia is a country that is plagued by extreme poverty and violence that is initiated by drug cartels, gangs, and rebel groups. Faced with violence or with the prospect of having their teenage children forced to join one of these groups, fleeing IDPs (internally displaced people) are settling around the major cities of Colombia. In IDP zones, the effects of sin are often magnified. Many fathers abandon or abuse their families, mothers cling to the next man that comes along, and children join gangs.
It is in these impoverished and broken IDP areas that our partner, Conviventia, is operating. The gospel message is a key part of every one of Conviventia’s projects and even in the darkest areas of Colombia, the bright light of God’s amazing grace is at work.
Though Costa Rica benefits from the tourism industry and is more stable than many neighboring countries, there remains large gaps between the rich and the poor. Many communities struggle with poverty, crime, and gangs. The poor families live in shanty towns. It is in this context that our Partner, Education Plus, ministers.
The Dominican Republic is a country that thrives on tourism. However, most of the country is filled with poverty. Their flag flies an image of the Holy Bible, but sadly that is not seen throughout the country. The Luke Society Hospital was established with the intent of serving the poorest people in the country. It focuses on the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of the people.
Ecuador’s often stunning scenery stands in stark contrast to the physical, emotional, and spiritual landscape of many homes in Ecuador. Although urban centers are more characterized by wealth, poverty is still rampant, especially among rural, indigenous people groups. Children often live in unimaginable conditions and are at high risk for physical and sexual abuse. For some, one or both of their parents are in jail for drug trafficking or other crimes. It is in this context that Word & Deed partners with Mision San Lucas in Quininde, a town of around 90,000 people in the tropical region of Ecuador and with CRETE in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador.
Guatemala is an incredibly diverse country with 23 different language groups. Climate conditions can range from steamy hot coastal weather to frigid cold mountain weather where temperatures regularly drop below the freezing mark. Like many Latin American countries, it is also a country marked by violence and poverty. The presence of ruthless drug cartels has led to extortion, corruption, kidnapping, and many violent deaths in this country. Word & Deed partners with AMG Guatemala to help facilitate Christian education for hundreds of children in Guatemala. We also partner with them in the operation of a rural hospital.