The Catalyst COVID-19 Crisis Fund is continuing to serve some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities around the world as the pandemic continues to have a severe impact in developing nations. Yet in the midst of that, there are many encouraging stories of churches making a big difference in their communities. Here are a few from around the world:
“We are particularly thankful for the food and medical relief items which we were able to distribute to all our churches here in Sierra Leone by courtesy of the Catalyst COVID-19 Crisis Fund. We were able to serve about 160 families in our churches and the communities where we operate. The distribution of the relief items had been a blessing to the beneficiaries as it was done in periods close to lock down when must people could have suffered from starvation if not for our timely intervention. The church has not only served our membership but also every community where we operate. It was so surprising to see Muslims entering our churches to benefit from the relief items. Churches have been reopened here from the past Monday and we are sure of a huge harvest. Glory to God and thanks to you all for working so hard to serve us in this part of the globe. Many blessings in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.”
“It’s like the whole community is coming to church. Dozens of people have received support, and we have fed a lot of people in our church and community. Four Islamic women came to our church today to receive food donations – they said that they have been going to bed without food for several days. If they get too little food, they have to fast for the children to have something to eat. We had the privilege to meet their need and share with them about the love of Christ and about grace. Thank you so much for your help, God bless you.”
Niger is currently the poorest country in the world, ranking #189 on the Human Development Index. Many churches there are living in extreme poverty and facing additional challenges as a result of the current crisis. These churches are often in remote places in the bush, built of straw mats, and in frequent danger from persecution and attack. Here’s a quick encouragement from Pastor Bilimpo, the President of the Association of Evangelical Christians in Niger:
“We are eternally grateful to God for enabling us to distribute much needed food to struggling families in Oviston and Venterstad. Many times we were moved to tears when desperation on faces made room for relief, joy and gratitude. One lady could not stop saying: “God is good!” Another threw her arms in the air and shouted “Hallelujah! I’m blessed!” And another grabbed our hands and said, “Blessed are the hands that give!” Distributing the food has been a very fulfilling experience, knowing that we are making a real difference, but it has also been exhausting emotionally. We are still being inundated on a daily basis with requests for help. The need is immense. So far we have distributed hampers to 130 households, providing food and basic cleaning material to close to 800 people.”
These are just a few of the stories of what’s going on around the world – in over 30 nations, spread across four continents – as a result of God’s faithfulness, your generosity, and the hard work of many. Please do continue to pray for the churches and teams in Sierra Leone, Kenya, Niger, South Africa and everywhere that the Catalyst COVID-19 Crisis Fund continues to make such a big difference.