Photo: Dr. Ann Schaeffer (right), assistant professor in the practice of nursing at EMU, teaches in EMU and Goshen College’s joint Doctor of Nursing Practice […]
Photo: Bishop Bijoy Kumar Roul (purple shirt with black vest) in a market in India during pre-COVID-19 times. Photo by Henk Stenvers.
Mennonite World Conference’s COVID-19 inter-agency task force has approved 21 relief proposals, including one from Bishop Bijoy Kumar Roul, chairman of the Brethren In Christ Church, Cuttack, Odisha, India.
“It will reflect our love of Christ to them, [that] we care and are concerned for them, and it will also bring smile in their faces,” Roul says.
Food and sanitation materials are part of all the proposals from Anabaptist member churches of Mennonite World Conference in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With the COVID-19 fund’s assistance, local congregations in more than a dozen countries will bring relief to thousands of church members and their neighbors.
“In most cases,” says Deacons Commission secretary Henk Stenvers, “church members have established relationships with their most vulnerable neighbors. Giving out food and supplies builds on those connections and underscores the message of the love of Jesus through help in time of need and scarcity.”
Job losses and food scarcity affect church members as well.
Task force member and Peace Commission chair Joji Pantoja says, “Assistance from the Global Church Sharing Fund empowers church leaders and their congregations to serve their members and neighbors in a time of multiple crises: pandemic, economic downturn, environmental disaster.”
Global Church Sharing Fund/COVID-19 fund recipients for the above projects:
Mennonite World Conference formed the COVID-19 task force with the support of more than 10 global Anabaptist agencies to respond to the needs arising from the pandemic in the Global South.
Under the leadership of the Mennonite World Conference Deacons Commission and delegates from around the world, the team determines criteria of accountability and coordinates responses to project proposals. This inter-agency response maximizes the strength of diverse organizations, builds on existing networks of primary relationships and mitigates competition for scarce funds.
More information is available the COVID-19 response fund here.
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