In 1973, International Disaster Emergency Service was just a dream with a name.
Now 45 years later, IDES is a worldwide partnership of volunteers, supporters, local churches, and mission workers that is thousands strong.
"Timoun grangou pa tande ou.”
In Haitian Creole, this phrases means, “A hungry child cannot hear what you are saying." IDES' partners in Haiti know this to be true first hand. Children who are fortunate enough to be able to attend school often must attend without knowing if they will eat anything that day. As hunger pangs growl in their tummies, it becomes increasingly difficult to pay attention to the teacher. The students' hunger leads to a chronic inability to focus, and subsequently, to learn.
"They are grateful to be there but their bodies are weak and tired from not getting the nutrition that they need," one principal in Haiti lamented. Thankfully, this does not have to be the end of these students' story.
We are thrilled to announce that during the food-packing events this coming weekend on Saturday, November 4th, 2017, volunteers from Agape Christian Church in Terre Haute, IN and from New Hope Christian Church in Whitestown, IN will be packing our ONE MILLIONTH MEAL for the year of 2017!
IDES has never packed 1,000,000 meals in a single calendar year before, so we are excited to set this new record and pass this milestone! In order to celebrate this moment in IDES history, we produced a brand new promo video for our Food-Packing Program in order to highlight just how special it is for us and for our volunteers.
Thank you to each of you who have made this moment possible for IDES this year, whether through your hard-work in volunteering at a food-packing event or through your generous financial contribution. You are making hope possible!
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)
IDES' staff members recently returned from the Houston, TX area, but the hard work of recovery continues.
Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers from local churches in the area, 30 storage sheds were built for families whose homes were damaged by flooding. The sheds can be used for safely storing belongings while one's home is being repaired. This gift allows a recipient to save hundreds of dollars per month on storage solutions and to put that money towards their recovery.
We were blessed to sit down with Dottie and Woody who received a shed, as well as Deborah (a.k.a. "Nanna") who received a shed, as they shared their stories with us which you can view below.
As we continue our response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas, we have already made contact last week with local churches throughout Florida prior to Hurricane Irma’s landfall. The storm has begun to dissipate, and we praise God for that. As the waters recede and the churches we contacted are able to return to their communities, damage assessments will soon be underway.
IDES is prepared to respond to the needs of the affected communities in the name of Jesus. Please pray for both the families who are recovering in Texas, and for the families in Florida who are now in need. Stay tuned here on our profile, or on our website for the most up-to-date information on our response efforts.
You can make hope possible. If you would like to donate to assist hurricane victims in Florida or Texas, please click the button below and choose "Hurricane" as your designation at the bottom of the form. Or, you can send a check to IDES, PO Box 379, Noblesville, IN 46061.
As of this morning, IDES' first two loads of storage sheds have safely made it to Katy, TX. For the next several days, volunteers from the local churches in the area will be building these sheds for families whose homes were affected by the flooding. These families will then be able to use the sheds to store their belongings as their homes are repaired. IDES' US Disaster Response Coordinator is on the ground and leading the shed-building process with the local churches.
Volunteers from several of the churches have already been furiously working to help families tear out soggy dry-wall and sort through their belongings. This road will be a long one, but we are happy to report that "recovery" has officially begun. Your generosity is making hope possible in Jesus' name for these families.
One of our supporters, Kathy, graciously offered to share a story with us from a lady named Renee who is receiving one of IDES' sheds that you provided.
"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.
Drought, hunger and outright famine are once again threatening precious lives on the continent of Africa.
IDES is blessed to have faithful mission partners diligently meeting needs in Jesus’ name in several North and East African nations. One nation where needs are great and His servants are hard at work is Kenya.