Hunger, cholera, hopelessness -- these are just a few of the life-threatening problems that IDES' partners in Les Cayes, Haiti were facing during the days and weeks following Hurricane Matthew last year. Les Cayes was one of the worst-hit areas of the storm, sustaining unbelievable damage and flooding. The desperate needs were clearly greater than the available resources.
"After the Hurricane we were very discouraged and didn’t know where to start," our partner said. "We can now turn the page slowly and look forward."
This turning of the page and forward-looking is thanks to your love and generosity.
Nearly 500 people have been killed as bodies continue to be recovered from the mud, with nearly 600 people reported missing (Al Jazeera News). CNN estimates that over 20,000 people are now displaced from their homes.
With very little warning, families felt the ground and floor begin to crumble beneath them as entire shanty-villages were engulfed by the rush of mud, water, and debris.
This tragedy is still unfolding as you read, with mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and siblings still finding out which family members have been lost in the disaster. You can make hope possible for families affected by donating at the following link: Make Hope Possible. Please be sure to select "Disaster Response" as your designation at the bottom of the form.
Around 2:15pm EST, I will be taking a work-break to watch the total solar eclipse, and I am excited.
I feel like a school boy, giddy to see a science project explode in chemistry class, or something. I have never witnessed a magnificent astronomical event before, and this may be the only time I ever do! I even made my own cereal-box pin-hole projector (mostly because all of the local stores ran out of the solar-safe glasses).
As I was reflecting and daydreaming about how beautiful this event will be, I was struck by how metaphorical a solar eclipse is.
The scent of fresh summer rain has not graced the villages in the elevated, rocky area of India for several months, since the last monsoon season.
It has been oppressively hot and devastatingly dry. Not only have the cattle been thirsty, but even more so the families living in these villages. When it is not monsoon season, these families must walk for hours to the lower-lying areas where some limited surface water has gathered. This is just to find enough water necessary to survive, carrying it back up the foothills to their villages.
For some, this might be a silly question. But for others, this question shakes the very foundation of our faith.
If God is who He says He is, why does it feel like He is so far away right now? Can He hear me when I pray? Does He care about me and my problems? Why doesn't He just tell me what to do, or make it a little more obvious which direction to go?
These are all valid questions, both for the young Jesus-follower and for the veteran disciple.
It was another hot, arid day in the desperately dry country of Tanzania. It has not rained in the region (and surrounding countries) for many months, which has led to both an economic and physical crisis for rural villages with little resources. For IDES' mission partners in Tanzania, trips to certain villages are not always very uplifting.
But this day was different, thanks to you.
Working for a disaster response ministry, I often find myself being humbled by the stories of the people we serve around the world.
Right now in several East African countries, families just like yours and mine are hungry and thirsty. Drought conditions have afflicted many for months upon months. It is dry to say the least. These brothers and sisters understand hunger and thirst much differently and more seriously than I do.
Throughout the Scriptures, hunger and thirst are used as metaphors for the type of disposition we ought to have for God's presence in our lives. I'm afraid I do not yet fully understand the gravity of this in my relationship with Him.
"How do I know my money is going to actually help people?"
As an international nonprofit organization, we get asked this question often. Integrity is one of IDES' Core Values, and we seek to handle the generosity of our faithful supporters with honesty and trustworthiness, down to the last penny. You matter to us, and your questions of concern matter to us. When it comes to working in the mission field, there are many legitimate worries that arise in certain countries. "What if inflation spikes in the country and the money doesn't go as far?" or "What if a corrupt local government attempts to steal the aid?" are both sincere questions.
By working with local mission partners who are members of the very communities they serve, IDES seeks to answer your hard questions by using local strategies and wise approaches to avoid corruption and to prevent interruption of the projects. Recently, IDES' mission partner in Niger shared their story about the strategy they used to distribute emergency food that you lovingly provided to nearly 5,000 hungry people in 14 separate villages.