It is often difficult work. Made even more so by COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. But nothing will stop Compassion’s church partners from serving the most vulnerable and marginalised in their communities.
Living in extreme poverty magnifies every risk around COVID-19. This is why we’re so thankful for the dedication of every single one of our church partners who are serving tirelessly on the frontline.
The need is great, but their desire to show God’s love in tangible ways is greater. Thanks to all who have supported our Emergency Appeal so far, and the work of our partners, families are fed, essential hygiene and protective items are distributed, and children are provided shelter.
Come meet our incredible church partners from around the world, caring for others during uncertain and difficult times.
Crossing rivers in Thailand
When lockdown was declared in this remote part of northwest Thailand, boats were prevented from crossing the wide river which runs through the community. Compassion’s church partner was now cut off from supporting vulnerable children and families living on the other side.
“When we heard there would be quarantine, the first thing we thought was we need to get food to children and families,” recalls Gaga, the project director.
Seeing the desperate need, Gaga and her team were granted special permission from community leaders to make the crossing to deliver vital food packages, medical supplies, hygiene training and spiritual support.
“The work is hard but there is no other option. We will stop at nothing,” says Gaga.
For Paw-Mue-Chi and her family in Mae Sot province, the care of Compassion’s church partner is vital.
Since the pandemic halved their income, her parents have struggled to afford groceries. Thanks to the support of our Emergency Appeal, our church partner is able to provide the nutritional support they desperately need.
“We are so grateful for Compassion project, and the Church always stand with us. They have helped some of the most needed groceries for our family,” says Manah, Paw-Mue-Chi’s mother.
“Without their help…we don’t know how we could strengthen our children.”
Saving lives in Uganda
Zaion is alive thanks to the medical support from our Compassion partner in Uganda. He suffers a rare, serious condition called aplastic anemia, where his body stops producing enough new blood cells. His condition causes sudden nosebleeds that require immediate medical attention, and he also requires regular blood transfusions.
When the Ugandan President announced quarantine restrictions to protect citizens from the spread of COVID-19, his mother, Gertrude, was terrified. She did not know how she would manage to take Zaion to hospital as public transport had been banned. Private cars taking patients to the hospital also needed special permission from local leaders.
Usually, Zaion’s public transport trip to the hospital costs about £8. However, the travel restrictions have inflated prices, and now the journey costs around £55. Gertrude plaits hair for a living. Without the support of the Compassion programme, Zaion’s health would be at risk.
The first time Zaion required treatment, Compassion’s church partner staff Allan and Julius rushed to the young boy’s home in a private car to take him to hospital.
“I want to see Zaion’s condition improve so that he can be like other children. While taking him to the hospital, we took recommended measures like sanitising and maintaining social distance. We know that there is a fear of COVID-19 but the child needed attention. If we don’t help, he will not survive,” says Allan, Compassion project director.
Zaion has been taken to hospital eight times since the restrictions began. Each time he has received a blood transfusion and platelets.
As well as helping to cover Zaion’s medical costs, Gertrude received food support to boost his immunity. She received eggs, milk, millet porridge, ground nuts and beetroot to help him stay healthy.
Every effort is being made to ensure children receive the support they need, even amid a pandemic.
But the need is great. Vital donations are still required to enable our church partners to care for children like Zaion. Please give now to help the most vulnerable children, families and communities affected by COVID-19.
Mobilised to action in the Dominican Republic
As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, closing borders and retreating indoors,
Compassion’s church partners in the Dominican Republic have mobilised.
Across the country, staff are ensuring families know how to prevent the virus and are distributing supplies.
In early March, Compassion’s Partnership Facilitators—who provide support to the church partners—met to discuss the global situation. Immediately, project directors brainstormed ideas and put them into action, revolutionising their communities.
Since that meeting, churches began distributing pamphlets and posters to educate the community about preventing COVID-19. Some Compassion projects provided gift cards to parents to buy groceries; others distributed food parcels to families.
During home visits and at the projects, pastors and staff taught families how to wash their hands correctly and shared other prevention tips.
Some projects connected with local radio broadcasters so the message could reach a broader audience.
“We are impressed by how our churches have responded to this pandemic. They have given preventative talks to beneficiaries and parents. They have also distributed personal hygiene products, and within their plan, they are supplying food to those families who are most vulnerable,” says Keilin Baez, Compassion Health Specialist.
With love and care, church partners are calmly educating their communities, without creating panic or anxiety.
“Our children are calm. We’ve explained it to them in a way that they have understood the seriousness of this virus and how to prevent it, without scaring them,” says Paula, Compassion Project Director.
For Fanny and her family, Compassion’s church partner has done more than educate them about the dangers of COVID-19. The single mother, who was threatened with eviction at the height of the pandemic, now has a place to call home thanks to the intervention of our partners.
“I can’t even imagine what our lives would be like without the help of [Compassion],” says Fanny.
“We’ve received a lot of support. They have never failed us. From food, face masks, hand sanitiser, hygiene classes … to sending classes to the kids online and keeping us from literally being on the street today, what else could I ask for? My heart is very grateful.”
God’s hands and feet in Kenya
Rev. Gerald Opwacho is the senior pastor of Compassion’s church partner at Kibera Church of God. For him, this difficult time presents an opportunity for the church to be a beacon of hope and a refuge for people.
“[Our] church has been vastly affected. We are a church in the heart of Kibera that ministers to predominantly slum dwellers. But we have taken it as a challenge to practice God’s word and to be His hands and feet,” says Rev. Gerald.
“We are also praying for our supporters who have also been affected by this same pandemic and their countries.”
You can enable our church partners to extend their care to the most vulnerable children, families and communities, providing health and stability through hygiene, food and housing security.
• £44 could support a family suffering from malnutrition for two weeks.
• £72 could enable a church to feed a family in lockdown for a month.
• £120 could provide essential hygiene and protective items to 20 children.
Please join us as together we pray, take action, and rise as one Global Church.
If you’ve already given, thank you for helping our partners provide vital care at this time of great need.