This time of quarantine has brought challenges for all of us. Yet, amid these challenges, God has also brought many opportunities. The most relevant opportunity that we have been given is an extended amount of time to work with my colleague Sarah Nash, IM Global Servant in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Sarah and I have been spending 2 hours together via zoom, five days a week for the couple of months, as we go through the curriculum line by line, making the adaptations necessary for it to communicate the message we want it to communicate to girls in Bolivia.
This has been an amazing experience to get to know my outstanding colleague and for her to gain an in-depth understanding of the Talita-Cumi Girls’ Clubs program, and plan for its implementation in Bolivia.
Our hopeful plan is to implement a training program with leaders in Bolivia in November, with our sights set on launching our pilot project in March 2021. Of course, we all know that we hold these plans loosely, putting them firmly in God’s hands and forging ahead, knowing that He will open the way in His perfect time.
On another encouraging note, the other day I had the privilege of taking part in a birthday party Zoom call for our dear friend and colleague, Joyce Reed, along with other colleagues.
As we all began to share about our work, noting that many of us are working on advanced degrees in order to enhance that work, we realized how much we all have in common, and that our work and studies intersect in important ways.
Please pray for us as we continue in conversations, that God will show us ways that we can unite our efforts and be still more effective for the mission of God as we minister alongside our national partners to those who are most vulnerable among us.
I was planning a return trip to Nicaragua in March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was ramping up. Travel was still conceivable, and the virus was not in Nicaragua, yet. By the time of my travel date, tentative plans were clearly unadvisable, and I postponed the trip indefinitely.
It was to be a follow-up to my trip in January, when I went to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, with my colleague, Ricardo Mayol, IM Regional Consultant. Ricardo is coordinating the Water for All project and has gathered and empowered a remarkable corps of Jesus-followers who are addressing water insecurity situations there, equipping communities to seek just solutions.
(Here is a story about our work in Guatemala):
My mustard-seed role is to introduce Rainwater Harvesting and train people to install demonstration systems that can be replicated and give people and communities greater autonomy and control of their water resources.
In Nicaragua we met with CEPAD (Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua), IM’s partners there who are doing remarkable work in sustainable community/rural development.
We visited a rural community where they will install the first model rainwater harvesting system. CEPAD is already doing a kind of rainwater harvesting to irrigate crops, so these systems will enhance that and develop ways to meet household needs.
Meanwhile, Nicaragua, like Guatemala and El Salvador, is reeling from the spread of the COVID-19. These countries are under often stricter travel restrictions and curfews than we are, so they cannot visit rural sites either.
So, Ricardo and the Water for All team have been using Zoom for conference calls, for training and planning purposes. I did one training session with them online on rainwater harvesting.
I know you are praying for situations with COVID-19 in your own communities and around the world, and we can count on your prayers for these countries and the progress of the Water for All project.
Matching Gift Opportunity
Generous donors have provided a $239,100 matching fund to help IM missionaries meet their Personalized Support Goals (PSGs)!
PSGs are annual budgets that all IM missionaries must raise to continue working where God has called them. These funds allow missionaries to care for basic needs, travel to remote areas, cover medical expenses, and meet other ministry expenses that arise in the course of their service.
During Monthly Giving Match 2020, when you commit to a new monthly recurring gift toward a missionary’s PSG, the first 12 months of your monthly donation will be matched.
For example, if you begin a new $50 monthly donation, your total annual donation for the first year ($600) will be matched.
This means your designated IM missionary will receive your $600 gift, plus a $600 match amount for a total of $1,200 toward his or her PSG this year!
Monthly Giving Match 2020 begins June 1 and will continue this fiscal year until the matching fund is depleted.
This link takes you to the site for online giving:
In this time of social distancing, shelter-in-place, and isolation, consider this quote from the Quaker philosopher/teacher, Douglas Steere:
“Intercession is the most intensely social act that the human being is capable of.” (From Dimensions of Prayer.)
Let’s pray, for one another, and for the world.