Unplanned Crisis Relief
What do you do when extensive flooding occurs close to home? When floods struck major portions of the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, a few years ago, we were able to respond almost immediately because of the President’s Crisis Relief Fund provided through WGM. Our ministry is in training and mobilizing Latin Americans as cross-cultural missionaries, but we could not stand by and just hope that those affected by the flooding would somehow receive the help they needed.
Through a series of contacts, we found a trusted ministry leader who lived and worked in the affected area. He helped us understand that the immediate needs of clean water and shelter were largely being taken care of by the government and other groups.
We found out that the unserved need was one that would happen a couple of weeks later when all the children from the affected families began to make their way back to school. Because of the flooding, all of the children’s school supplies and books were ruined and would need to be replaced in order for the children to restart classes. (In Argentina, as well as many other countries, children must provide their own school supplies or they cannot attend classes.) Many families who lived in the affected areas had few resources, and the expense of buying new school supplies was impossible along with all the other expenses they had with rebuilding their homes and lives.
Our partner and his ministry team contacted the local school and interviewed the teachers to find out which children were most likely to need supplies. Supplies were bought in bulk and were divided into packages that were then delivered directly to the families. The local church became the distribution center, with people of the church working to package the supplies. Local people heard what was happening and stopped by to volunteer.
The community impact was far reaching. In the process, WGM partnered directly with two Argentine ministries and indirectly with two more Argentine ministries that supplied contacts and information. In the end, approximately 1,000 school supply kits were placed directly in the hands of children who needed them most. Parents were extremely thankful and appreciated the quality of the materials they were given, since they could have never afforded them on their own. Gospel material was included in each kit as well as a letter that told how the kits were provided and the location of a nearby church. To God be the glory for a job well done!
GIVE: The President’s Crisis Relief Fund is available to help with the next crisis because of financial partners like you. Your gift can replenish the fund so that WGM can act at a moment’s notice. Give now at www.wgm.org/crisisrelief.