"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.
During the early summer, several strong storms with heavy rain, winds and lightning severely damaged or destroyed 50 homes in several rural Cambodian villages. "The heavy rain, wind and related flooding also impacted about 1000 additional families in these same villages," IDES' local mission partner added.
All of the families who were impacted lost nearly everything they owned, some including their very homes. Witnessing the dire need, IDES' local mission partner in the region developed a response plan.
"Our goal was to 1) purchase and distribute rice, mosquito netting, blankets and mats, and devotional materials for approximately 1,000 families in the impacted villages; 2) purchase building materials for the 50 destroyed or severely damaged homes; organize and provide volunteers to repair the rudimentary homes; (We have planted churches in this area and would be able to provide volunteers to repair the homes and distribute the humanitarian aid goods.) and 3) This humanitarian aid/disaster relief provided the perfect opportunity to evangelize to those we were serving. Local pastors were on site during the project to preach, pray and interact with the communities," our partner reported.
Upon receiving the grant funding that you generously provided, IDES' partner distributed 24 tons of emergency rice, approximately 3000 blankets, 2500 scarves, 100 mosquito nets, and two devotional booklets in the local language.
"For the homes that were damaged in the storms, the team repaired 77 homes and 1 church using the roofing and building materials purchased with the IDES funds. Each affected family received at least 25 pieces of corrugated metal sections for roofing/siding, depending upon the size of the damaged structure," our partner said.
By providing physical assistance in these communities, the door was opened to verbally share the good news of Jesus Christ.
"In the five locations that the team visited to provide aid and disaster relief, meetings were held with the community leaders and residents to spread the Gospel," our partner said. Local leaders present included pastors, regional governors, school principals, village chiefs, and police officers. "We were invited to speak at each of these meetings. At the end of the message on the plan of salvation by Jesus and hope in Christ, many of them accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, even the heads of communities and village chiefs. Following these meetings, a total of 850 people were baptized!"
Praise God! You read that correctly. Around 850 new brothers and sisters were baptized into Christ as a result of your generosity in the five districts.
Thank you for making hope possible for these families in Cambodia.