A respected pastor’s family has been hit extremely hard by the virus. His 17-year old daughter, who was disabled, has died. The pastor was just discharged from the intensive care unit to a regular hospital room after a long stay. His wife is being treated at another local hospital. The couple’s 12-year-old son is at home in the care of a relative. Both have COVID-19.

The consequences of COVID-19 are being felt far and wide in the United States and Puerto Rico.

We must unite as a people of faith to strengthen, help and uphold each other during this time of unprecedented crisis, trial and recovery.

While we know that you may be experiencing your own challenges, we ask that you please consider supporting COVID-19 Recovery: Renewing Hope and Service, our emergency One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) initiative in the United States and Puerto Rico. Together, let’s care for our neighbors in need with hope and healing.

We are inspired by the Epistle of James 2:18: “I will show you my faith by what I do.”  Please join us in raising $1,000,000 over the next year to bring hope and healing to suffering communities.

Every $25 will help to:

  • Assist churches that are experiencing their own financial hardship and lack of resources to seek alternate ways to gather and attend to the needs of their congregations and communities;
  • Support community ministries attempting to provide food and shelter, while adhering to social distancing guidelines;
  • Close the digital divide that has become more apparent in low-income households as children are unable to complete lessons, and worshipers are disconnected from fellowship because of lack of access to virtual church services;
  • Combat the racial hostility that has increased exponentially toward our Asian brothers and sisters; and
  • Aid those affected by the virus—both those who continue to struggle without necessary medical care and those medical professionals who risk their lives daily.

Stories

July 7

June 30

A married couple, Raquel* from El Salvador and Roberto* from Brazil, have two children ages 7 and 10. Roberto, who started his own company, was working hard and putting in long hours. Unfortunately, the company has had to close because of the pandemic. He has been looking for other work but without success. Neither parent has any work or income; they need help to pay rent and to buy groceries for the family.

* Names changed to protect privacy

June 23

The pastor of a midwestern church shares that his congregation is struggling financially. “A number of our members are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and have been denied tests because they have no primary care order, no medical insurance or limited access to sites offering free testing,” he says. “The cost of a COVID-19 test is $225! These folks are unemployed and can’t afford that expense! So many are in need of our assistance with rent, utility bills, groceries and other essential supplies, but our church is currently unable to support them because our monthly revenue has been reduced by 60 percent. It’s so painful to want to help people who are crying out for relief, but our hands are tied!”

June 16

Cristal and Javier, a married couple in Puerto Rico, have been working remotely since the quarantine began. They find that they are saving on expenses like gasoline and dining at restaurants. They are also members of a small church with limited financial resources. They’ve decided to coordinate with their pastor to identify fellow parishioners in need, mostly elderly members. Each week they will redirect the money they are saving to supply the needs of their brothers and sisters. In a moment like this, they are blessed and use their situation to bless others.

June 9

An American Baptist pastor of a church in upstate New York reports:

“Many children in our village receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year. Our mission is to provide healthy lunches to kids who may be experiencing food insecurity during the summer months.

We do not turn away any child who requests lunch. We serve up to 200 meals per day, and we want to expand to serve mobile homes on the outskirts of our community. With so much uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak, there is an even greater need for assistance.”


Give

Donations may be made via your church or via credit card online. If donating by check, please make check payable to American Baptist Home Mission Societies, write “OGHS-COVID Response: US & PR” on the memo line and mail to:

Attn: Leda Carter
American Baptist Home Mission Societies
1075 First Ave.
King of Prussia, PA 19406


Resources

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Join the ministrElife community of individuals, churches and other organizations supporting the COVID-19 Recovery: Renewing Hope and Service initiative.