NEWS FROM THE FRONTLINES
US team in the Colorado Springs home office:
We’ve all been working from home, having online meetings and checking into the office weekly. Reda and Samira and family are well – we are waiting on his R-1 visa renewal and ask for your prayers, as these US government offices are closed. Star and her family are keeping busy and healthy. Melanie and her family will have a new baby soon, and she has decided to be a stay at home mom for this season of her life, so this month we say farewell. We will really miss her! Dee and John are well, and keeping busy with tracking family, staying healthy and monitoring overseas teams. They evacuated out of Iraq on Friday, March 13, just hours before all roads closed. God is good. Looking to reach our team? We’d love to receive your email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office, 719-302-3028.
Although two of our pastors battled upper respiratory illnesses last month, they are better now. Actually John contracted that same illness (whatever it was) while in Egypt in March, recovered from it while he and Dee were in Iraq. The villages IM teams work with in Egypt are still on lockdown. Seems it has prevented a lot of people contracting COVID19, but case numbers are hard to come by. From what our teams know to this point, the children and mothers in the child sponsorship program and in the churches there are well. This month our teams in Egypt were able to give larger amounts of food including additional home cleaning supplies, and a laminated sheet, pictured left, with hand washing tips for health. Great idea, team!
The response has been very heart warming as the mothers shared how much they appreciated the care of the families who sponsor their children. Our teams have been praying with many, and shared that they are seeing people coming to faith in Christ during this challenging and unsettling time.
Our Kurdistan teams have been in lockdown since early March when John and Dee were there. The lockdown was lifted for US NGOS (non government organizations like IM) April 18 and the team is back in Indigenous Ministries’ office! That’s a real praise. We’re so glad everyone is healthy.
Pictures on the left: All three of IM’s teams in Iraq were able to hold food distributions for refugees this month, two of which were regularly scheduled; one was because of generous gifts to the Rapid Response Fund. Thank you, donors!Your gifts allowed us to send in $3000 in April for additional food.
The impact you are having in the lives of these children is building a life long memory of God’s love and care. These families are severely impacted and are extremely grateful for the aid. Thank you, IM team Iraq!
The overall refugee situation, however, continues to be grim with lack of money to buy food. John has been asked by our team and gov’t officials in northern Iraq to help Syrian and Iraqi refugees (YouTube: https://youtu.be/glIgQwMeHpM).
With a goal of raising $12,000 in May, donations given to the Rapid Response Fund will go towards this purpose. What sets IM apart: Funds go directly to the need (not through larger organizations) and are fully accounted for. IM operates in cooperation with the Kurdish government as a registered NGO (non-government organization). IM teams are all local and can respond quickly to needs.
Our Baghdad team is also working with refugees who are in great need in the south. They have also held a food distribution this month. Maryam reports that the children are calling her saying they really miss the children’s meetings and asking when they can start coming to church again.
Resty and Mel Enguerra returned to the US several months ago in a permanent move home. They will travel back and forth to manage the work there, as much of the work is being handled by the team there. We’re thankful for God’s timing!
The children were all sent home and the school is closed. Philippines, as India, is on a particularly strict lockdown. Read their newsletter at indigenousministries.org.
As the warnings over COVID-19 started to go out over the Indian countryside in March, Prime Minister Modi announced that a travel lockdown was being considered along with the decision to close all schools and colleges. With two weeks’ preparation time, the 1st and 2nd year GBC students were immediately sent home. The third year students stayed on campus to complete their exams.
When the travel ban was put into place on March 25, within three hours all mass transportation and businesses screeched to a massive halt causing an absolute national panic. Millions of people were stranded along with our GBC third year students. Fast forward a few weeks, and Principal Pramod reports the students and staff are doing well sheltering, or rather, sweltering in place; it’s hot in India!
The ministry has been on standby as GBC as a possible quarantine ward if the pandemic deepens, also a possible refugee center for those stranded by the lockdown. One of our teachers has been stranded in his travel and sheltered in a ministry that is helping feed needy people. Pray for GBC staff as school is scheduled to re-open the first week of July.