It feels like every few years extreme weather hits closer to home. Its powerful impact, whether experienced through gushing waters, ravaging winds or scorching fires, has affected our homes and churches. The news has shown us devastating images from Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, California, and the Pacific Northwest. In 2017 your Week of Compassion was able to respond at the beginning of these disasters, and now the long road of recovery begins. While the minds of many have already moved on, we continue to coordinate and accompany local communities in the rebuilding process. The work is just getting started.
Other domestic and global disasters did not make it on the news. There were floods in Arkansas and Missouri and in Peru, Colombia, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, just to name a few. There were droughts that created starvation and famine for millions of mothers and children in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Somalia, and Kenya. And of course, there are 66 million people who have been displaced globally because of conflict in their homes. Your Week of Compassion responded to calls for help across the globe. And, we continue to work with partners to alleviate the pain and loss felt in many of these communities. Your generous gifts have made all of this possible.
As we enter the month of February, you will have another opportunity to show compassion to those in need by giving to our annual special offering. The Week of Compassion Special Offering allows us to come together as one church in the United States and Canada and give abundantly to the vital work we do together. These gifts bear witness to the powerful work of God and allow us to respond to crises in places close to home and far away. Your partnership through the Special Offering answers the voices in the wilderness asking for food, water, and shelter and lets communities who are struggling to find hope know they are not forgotten. For this, so many are grateful.
Below you will find our distribution chart for 2017 showing the ways your financial gifts went to help people all over the world. These numbers represent rich and powerful stories, some you already know and others that we will share with you throughout the year. They are a witness that your gifts--your treasures and your hearts--are with vulnerable people who needed them most. Lives are made better by your support.
Your gifts build a better world in ways More Than We Can Imagine.
Rev. Vy T. Nguyen