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 are now over 5 months removed from Hurricane Matthew, which utterly devastated the country of Haiti near the end of September 2016, beginning of October 2016.
Recovering from a natural disaster of this caliber takes months to years. The rebuilding process can be overwhelming, but there's only one way to complete it: one brick at a time.
Our U.S. Disaster Response coordinators recently returned from the first trip in response to the EF3 tornadoes in Albany, Georgia that occurred January 21-23, 2017.
According to The Weather Channel, "the tornado death toll now tops the toll from all of 2016, and is the deadliest January for tornadoes in the U.S. since 1969."
The trip was very successful in bringing help and hope to families who were affected by the storms.
Late last summer, the seasonal monsoon rains that sweep through India each year caused major flooding in many of the villages in which IDES' partners are ministering.
The country was still recovering from the unexpected drought that had lasted several months before the rains hit. Due to the soil being too dry to soak up the water, flash flooding occurred quickly.
Several years ago, over 600,000 people fled rural Afghanistan due to civil war and the soviet occupation of the country and settled in Pakistan.
In recent months, the political relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been deteriorating. As violence caused by the Taliban continues to impact the most vulnerable communities, the shifting accusations of blame for the existence of the terrorist group only worsens the situation.
From the outside, the situation for Burmese refugees settled in Mae Sot, Thailand can look quite hopeless.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes in Myanmar, fleeing the brutal violence that has been occuring between several warring militias in the country for several decades now. Many of these families have settled in landfills and dumps, building "homes" using whatever salvagable items that they can, and collecting recyclables to sell for pennies. Hunger and disease run rampant.
On top of that, the area that these camps are in sustains monsoon-level rainfall almost every year, which often damages the meager homes and destroys what few crops had been growing. But, by the grace of God and thanks to your partnership, there is hope.
After the storm passes and the news stations stop reporting about the needs of an affected community, it is all-too-easy to forget the plight of those who are still suffering. The recovery process takes much longer than news stations care to report.
Hurricane Matthew was an absolutely devastating disaster for communities throughout Haiti. It will take more than just a few weeks to rebuild and recuperate. Thanks to your partnership with us, IDES is able to continue serving families who have been affected, in Jesus' name.
Hurricane Matthew was the worst humanitarian crisis in the country of Haiti since the devastating earthquake of 2010.
Thousands of families sustained severe damage to their homes and possessions, many being completely destroyed. The 140+ mph winds wreaked havoc upon local schools, medical clinics, and church facitlities. Hundreds lost their lives due to the flash flooding and structural collapses. "Tragedy" is an understatement for describing this catastrophe in such a poor nation.
Immediately following the storm, you along with many other IDES supporters generously donated, allowing IDES the opportunity to provide several different local mission partners in Haiti with over $100,000 in aid. We are blessed by the many stories now being reported by our mission partners on the ground regarding all of the good that your gifts are doing for those affected by the hurricane. Of course, we wanted to share the uplifting details with each of you in a two-part series of updates in place of our weekly Project Stories. Today (12/22/16) is Part 1, and next Thursday (12/29/16) will be Part 2.
UPDATE - 12/6/16
Our DART Coordinator sent in these photos and videos while surveying the damage in Gatlinburg. These fires have absolutely devastated the community.
IDES is working with Smokey Mountain Christian Church to help families who have sustained damage to or completely lost their homes. The clean-up process is currently underway in the communities, and the recovery will be long-term, taking several months. Our primary method of assistance will be financial until the areas are safe enough to begin physical assistance. We will continue to assist throughout the entire recovery process.
The best way that you can personally help the victims of this wildfire is by making a generous donation towards their recovery. We will partner with Smokey Mountain Christian Church to replace the household items and necessities that were destroyed for the affected families.
Please consider giving a gift in order to show these families that there is still hope, and it comes in Jesus' name - click the button below!
The Spring months and Fall months are very rainy in the impoverished country of Myanmar.
Each year during these months, the rains fall heavy and hard upon rural farming villages, damaging hundreds of families' homes and nearly destroying their crops. Although it may seem that the rains are easy to predict and prepare for, the resources available to these families are extremely limited. Most of them live in small, one-room houses with thatch-roofs and reed-woven walls--none of which hold up very well against heavy rainfall.
Myanmar is predominantly a Buddhist nation, but some rural families practice Animism and ancestor worship as well. We praise God that IDES has trustworthy local Christian partners in and around these villages that share the Gospel of Christ with these families, especially during their time of great physical need during the flood seasons. It is IDES' ultimate goal to fulfill the Great Commission. That being said, many of the families we serve would not be willing or able to hear the good news if their physical needs were not met first by Jesus-followers.