During the autumn months in the U.S., local churches in multiple states host Harvest of Talents events to raise money for world hunger relief through IDES.
Countless individuals donate their time, talent, and creativity in order to produce and sell hand-crafted items and services. All of the funds that are raised, 100%, go towards feeding hungry families in Jesus' name. Throughout the year, these funds provide nutritious food on a monthly basis, as IDES' mission partners build relationships to share the Gospel.
IDES recently received two heart-warming letters of thanksgiving from two mission partners working in Kenya, which has suffered under severe drought for several months this year.
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." - Ephesians 1:7-10
How many times have you read or heard this passage of scripture? A dozen or more, maybe? Do the words deeply move you, or spiritually affect you? Is there any sort of visceral response when these words are spoken to you?
It is much too easy to "habituate" the good news of Jesus Christ. Sometimes, Christians need to be reminded of the beauty of the Gospel.
Thanks to your generosity, families in rural Tanzania received nutritious food during the recent drought which has severely affected these communities. We were blessed to receive this report from our mission partners there who work with CMFI, a long-time partnering organization with IDES. Their mission workers articulated this report beautifully, so we wanted to share it in their own words.
"Disasters are opportunities for evangelism." At IDES, we abide by this phrase and mindset. No matter how devastating a disaster is to a community, we believe that God has a greater purpose for good.
Thanks to your generosity, the hope of the Gospel was made possible through physical assistance following several major rain-storms in Cambodia.
IDES' U.S. Disaster Response Coordinators are on their way back from Florida. It has been a productive two weeks!
During their time, they worked with volunteers from local churches in Fleming Island and Valrico, Florida to build 20 storage sheds for families who have been affected by Hurricane Irma. Those who received sheds were grateful and excited, as these buildings meet such a niche need following a disaster like this.
In one case, a gentleman had decided to stay on his property despite its damaged condition in order to protect his property from looting and break-ins. After receiving the shed, he was able to store his salvageable belongings inside of it securely, knowing that his property would be safe.
This a huge burden lifted off of the shoulders of these families, many of whom would have had to pay out-of-pocket for storage units for their belongings while their homes are being repaired. The sheds also serve as an outreach tool for the local churches in the area to show the love of Jesus Christ in a practical way. Your willingness to partner with IDES is making hope possible for these families.
In Puerto Rico, recovery work continues as IDES partners with a local church and a local Christian school in the area. Emergency food, water, clothing, and other basic necessities are being provided for families who have the most urgent needs. Thanks to your generosity, $40,000 of aid has been provided through these partners in order to bless those who have been affected by Hurricane Maria. The rebuilding process will begin in the near future.
We ask that you would continue to pray for the many families who are still displaced from their homes and communities due to these storms. It has been a devastating late summer season, but we have hope that God will use all things together for good. Thank you for making hope possible through your generosity.
(Click "Read More" to see photos from Florida and Puerto Rico)
India is a country of deep suffering for people of the lowest caste of society, and of fearsome persecution for those who follow Jesus Christ.
On top of the social-systemic problems, the effects of poverty and often harsh natural conditions like drought trap many within the confines of hardship. The culture of India has long favored males over females, therefore widows, single mothers, and other women are often the most vulnerable to these hardships.
Thanks to your generosity, families in a rural village in India were provided emergency food, cows and goats in order to develop a sustainable source of food and income. Here are four stories from women in this village (names have been eliminated due to safety concerns) who received animals and food, and were shown first-hand the love of Jesus Christ.
"The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me." - John 17:22-23
This passage has been weighing on me for quite some time. Nestled in the middle of "The High Priestly Prayer," it is easy to just gloss over. We have probably read it or heard it spoken dozens of times. But, there are two seemingly insignificant words that make all the difference in understanding what Jesus was truly telling us: "so that."