In lieu of this week's normal Project Story, we are excited to share with you a new video!
Two IDES staff members were recently blessed to spend time with several mission partners in India. This video shares the story of how YOUR generosity is transforming lives in Jesus' name. Thank you so much for taking the time to watch - please continue to pray for those who are suffering, and for those who are serving!
We recently celebrated a successful well drilling partnership in Togo, West Africa.
Our mission partners in Togo are working in a remote region where there are few believers in Christ Jesus. The area lacks a reliable water supply and has no electricity.
It was a hard summer for the people of Kenya.
For nearly 5 months, not a single drop of rain fell upon the farmland of the families of the Pokot region. The drought was long and the effects were severe. Crops were dried up from the previous harvest season, stored food had run out, and the most vulnerable family members like children and the elderly were desperately hungry. Malnourishment was wreaking havoc amongst the families, with many turning to eating certain kinds of dirt and clay due to the very trace amounts of vitamins found in the dry soil.
They prayed for emergency food assistance. They prayed for a new supply of crop seeds to plant. They prayed for rain.
Each morning, most of us wake up, take a shower, brush our teeth, wash our hands, cook breakfast, and brew coffee or tea.
All of these activities have one thing in common: water--a basic resource that we all-too-often take for granted. In a country like Ethiopia, water that's clean enough to bath in, to use for cooking, or to drink is very difficult to come by. Most natural water sources carry a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause severe water-borne illnesses such as Cholera, Schistosomiasis, Typhoid, E. coli, and Hepatitis A, just to name a few.
In the most rural villages of Ethiopia, family members must walk many miles to gather clean water and carry it back. Often, families will settle for dirty water merely due to its availability. What can we do to help?
This Friday, October 21st, IDES' annual Gift Catalog newsletter will be published.
Within it, you will find dozens of "gift" items that faithful supporters just like you provide for families in need around the world every single year. These aren't ordinary gift items like we are used to, like restaurant gift cards, Yankee candles, or that new power tool we've had our eye on. Instead, they are items that will help the families and communities we serve to stand on their own two feet, such as clean-water wells, seeds for farming, and livestock animals. What kind of difference do these items make? We're glad you asked!
“It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.” - 2 Timothy 2:6
We have a saying around IDES that we cherish as the motto for our service within the focus area of Development and Sustainability.
"It is better to give a hand-UP than it is to give a hand-OUT."
Giving a "hand-out" is a short-term event that includes little more than providing a single object of assistance or relief during a community's time of need. Giving a "hand-up" is a long-term process that includes building relationships and strategically assisting communities in a way that promotes their ability to stand on their own feet. The difference in effectiveness between these two is tremendous, especially for provoking Gospel-sharing opportunities.
"On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" - John 7:37-38
We drink it, we bathe and shower in it, we wash our dishes and our clothes with it, we flush it down our toilets. Nothing too out of the ordinary--for us.
Sadly, this is not the ordinary story for the rest of the world. According to the World Health Organization, there are over 663 million people that do not have access to safe and clean water. That's about 1 in every 10 people. Although this number is an improvement from previous years, the statistic is still staggering.
"He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God." - 2 Corinthians 9:10-11
The conflict in Myanmar, largely referred to as the world's longest "hidden" civil war, has been ongoing for nearly 60 years (CNN). Hundreds of thousands, some estimate even millions, of people have been forced to flee their homes due to the violence against civilians committed by over 15 separate insurgent groups fighting one another throughout the country. Many of the groups have strong ancestral ties to ancient familial tribes, which in this case causes even deeper-rooted fragmentation and division.
"And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work." - Nehemiah 2:18
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average sustained wind speed within a hurricane or cyclone is measured to be anywhere from 74-156+ miles per hour. Just to put this into perspective, it only takes a sustained wind speed of around 30 miles per hour to nearly knock you to the ground. Anything above 30 miles per hour begins to cause isolated to severe damage to property. The least severe cyclone clocks in at 74 miles per hour, which is over twice as fast as 30 miles per hour. Basic math indicates a whole lot of damage occurring from even the smallest cyclones.
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Meet Wilsner. He is 22 years old, and grew up and lives in one of the most desperately poor communities in Haiti. According to the United States Central Intelligence, Haiti is estimated to have a nearly 40% unemployment rate since the earthquake in 2010, with 80% of the country living at or below the poverty line.