The global COVID-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented upheaval in the world. In response, Rosedale International is coordinating a global relief fund to assist the CMC connected communities of faith around the world that have been impacted the most by the novel virus. Please consider how you can join us in supporting our dear brothers and sisters during these challenging times.
– Jerry, Vice President of Finance
As of today, there are over 1,527,664 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and at least 90,978 deaths. Even though less than 0.2% of the U.S. population is known to have the virus, life has been drastically upended for the other 99.8%. From stay-at-home orders restricting movement to face masks and social distancing being the norm – nothing seems quite normal. To reduce the spread, many of us have started watching live-streamed sermons, meeting with small groups via Zoom, and even sharing communion remotely while only seeing a small image of our friends and family on a screen.
The economic impact from this upheaval is very real and very painful. Those working in food service, hospitality, retail, personal services, or even manufacturing (where workers must be in close proximity) have lost jobs or had their hours severely curtailed. Fear of long-term economic impact could lead to feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and even depression.
Throughout its history, the Church has responded to crises with compassion. Many CMC congregations are increasing their financial giving to reach the hurting in their communities. Some congregations are taking special offerings and asking those financially able to consider donating a substantial portion of their U.S. government stimulus checks. We strongly support these responses and encourage you to participate generously in the efforts of your local congregations to meet local needs.
As the missions agency of CMC, RI would also like to encourage you to consider the plight of those in less-developed countries whose lives have been completely upended by this pandemic. For many, this crisis has become life-threatening even when they do not have the coronavirus. The government lock-downs put in place around the world have caused work to come to a halt for virtually all laborers. This means that the low daily wages normally used to feed a family have ceased to exist. With no savings to fall back on, people are forced to choose between protecting themselves via social distancing or being able to eat.
Through the global relief fund that RI is initiating, we will immediately begin helping the physical needs of believers, church conferences, and Christian ministries with whom we have personal connections. 100% of the gifts collected will be delivered to trusted workers and ministries where support is needed the most. These gifts will provide precious food, medical and sanitary supplies, as well as financial assistance to these communities.
May it be said of us what Paul said of the Macedonian churches’ gifts:
“In spite of their terrible ordeal of suffering, their abundant joy and deep poverty have led them to be abundantly generous. I can testify that by their own free will they have given to the utmost of their ability, yes, even beyond their ability” – 2 Corinthians 8:2-3 (ISV)
Would you prayerfully consider joining us in efforts to care for impoverished people in this time of extreme need? Gifts may be designated to one of the following countries or regions associated with RI (toggle +/- to read brief descriptions):
The villages of the Amazon River Basin where RI has connections are accessed almost exclusively by riverboat. Line boats delivering supplies to the most remote villages have stopped due to COVID-19. Gifts given to this region will be entrusted to missionaries in these remote locations so that they can arrange for food and aid to be delivered to those who need it most urgently.
Ecuador has been hit especially hard by the coronavirus. Iglesia Evangélica Menonita en Ecuador (Ecuador Mennonite Church) has lost a number of individuals, more are sick, and the virus is affecting everyone. Work has halted in the country and many families have been without an income for weeks. Food, medicine, and supplies are increasingly hard to come by at this point.
The Shekinah Foundation in Manta, a home for abused and at-risk children where an RI worker serves, is also in need of financial support. COVID-19 has impacted the normal support they receive from the government, and they are struggling to meet the needs of the children in their care.
Gifts designated to this region can go towards easing the acute day-to-day hardships caused by COVID-19 around the country or be designated for the Shekinah Foundation.
Kenya is continuing to register new cases at an alarming rate. As the country implements nationwide health protocols for handwashing and sanitizing, we pray God will protect them and his church. In many areas, especially among the Turkana church fellowships, these practices are still a luxury because most cannot afford the water and soap, let alone special sanitizers.
As the situation in the country deteriorates, the low-income laborers who work hand-to-mouth are beginning to feel the hit. Small traders are not able to work effectively and hunger is now setting in. Funds given to Kenya will assist the Turkana churches and the surrounding communities that are experiencing an abundant lack of nourishment and sanitary supplies.
The Nicaraguan government has been publicly dismissive of the risks of COVID-19, and resistant to taking measures that would protect the population. They have even encouraged Holy Week celebrations and gatherings around the country. This lack of action and transparency has alarmed epidemiologists and public health officials who fear the impact on Latin America’s second-poorest country will be devastating. Many people are already weak and vulnerable due to ongoing unrest in the country that has caused mass unemployment and undernourishment. While Nicaragua does have public health care for many, it is difficult for common people to access because they still need funds to purchase medications – funds that most do not have.
RI has a long association with Nicaragua since starting to work there in the early 1970s. Due to these relationships, RI has trustworthy partners who can oversee a fair distribution of assistance during this time of crisis.
In response to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, South Asia has ordered a lockdown period. This is causing great hardship for the majority of the population who are very poor. Most families are living hand-to-mouth and rely on day-labor earnings to put food on the table. Due to the lockdown, common laborers such as construction workers, rickshaw pullers, housemaids, and those employed in other unorganized sectors cannot work. These people do not have any savings and now cannot afford to eat even once per day. The situation could quickly become tragic, as starvation is a real possibility.
Our friends within South Asia are working to send groceries and other essentials to needy families – many are new believers. They have only been able to help around 50 families due to financial constraints. RI would like to partner with them and send support to help hundreds – if not thousands – more who are in need.
Spain has been profoundly impacted by COVID-19 with high rates of death and infection across the country. RI workers in Granada are helping Muslim immigrants who are struggling to eat since the lockdown has forced them to stop working. ICE Victoria, the home church of RI workers in Malaga, is providing multiple families with money for food and rent assistance during this difficult situation. Gifts designated to Spain will expand the number of people that can be helped in these communities and ensure the suffering of many is lessened.
While Thailand is more financially stable than some of the other countries included here, there are still many people who live on day-to-day wages. Our workers in Thailand are responding and ministering to these Thais by handing out 5-kilogram bags of rice and ramen noodles to help them stay nourished during this difficult time. With added funds, we would be able to bless more families and individuals with these sustaining gifts.
If you would like to give to a specific country, ministry, or worker under Rosedale International that is not listed here, please enter those details below so we know where you would like your gift to be utilized.
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2120 E 5th Ave
Columbus, OH 43219
Include “COVID-19 Relief” and the location you would like to give towards in the memo line.
Rosedale International is a Section 501 (c)(3) organization. Gifts to Rosedale International are deductible as charitable contributions for federal and state income tax purposes. With the accountability provided by CMC and our board of directors, we seek to honor God with these gifts and use them with efficiency and wisdom.