Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands--
O prosper the work of our hands! ~Psalm 90:16-17
In South Sudan, a major protracted humanitarian crisis is unfolding, with nearly 70% of the population in need of urgent assistance. Tens of thousands of people are living in famine-like conditions and malnutrition is at critical levels, while more than 7 million are food insecure.
In India, COVID-19 infection rates are rising exponentially and the health system is collapsing under the burden. Hospitals in urban centers are overcrowded and often turn people away. Supplies, including oxygen, are running low, and various strains of the virus more frequently require that patients be treated with oxygen. Families that already struggled to meet basic needs have become even more vulnerable to hunger and other challenges. Grief, anxiety, and depression are common across the population. With partial lockdown in place in many states and full lockdown in others, migrant guest workers are returning to their native villages. In addition to the economic impact of the loss of work, the influx into the villages may contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in rural areas. Week of Compassion is responding, supporting our partners as they work to meet the urgent needs of this new wave and prevent the further spread of disease; while also looking ahead to long-term needs and planning for the future.
Eleven years ago, an unhoused person died of exposure on the streets of Hood River, Oregon. Local clergy got together and vowed that they were not going to let it happen again.
Together with other community partners, they created the Hood River Warming Center, which offered nightly refuge to neighbors during the cold winter months. In addition to a warm place to sleep, guests receive a hot meal--provided by a network of local restaurant partners-- and a place of refuge. They find a community and sense of sanctuary that provides warmth in more ways than one.
On this International Women's Day, Week of Compassion celebrates the strength and resilience of women worldwide. Your gifts to Week of Compassion support development programs that empower women through education and opportunity. When women are empowered to grow crops, go to school, learn a trade, become entrepreneurs, and work together towards their goals, the whole community thrives through their success!
Supporting women’s empowerment is a mission priority for Week of Compassion, especially now. During the pandemic, many of these life-changing programs experienced significant setbacks. Investing in women is of urgent concern and will help communities around the world move forward from the challenges of this season.
From Guatemala to East Africa; from Haiti to Serbia; from Iraq to South America, and so many places in between, the work of empowering women is the work of compassion, and that work empowers whole communities to grow and plan for the future.
If you’d like to honor the women in your life today, consider making a gift to Week of Compassion and designating it to the Women’s Empowerment Fund. Now, more than ever, your investment in the lives and futures of women will have a lasting impact and change lives for generations to come. We are grateful for your continued support in helping women thrive around the world, around the year.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9
“There are times when we look up to the heavens and ask… do you really mean wherever? Even if wherever involves 911 moments or disasters? Again, the answer is yes, wherever. When you go through flooding, winter storm damage, busted pipes and significant home damage, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail damage, insurance or no insurance… God is wherever. And then … God sends help. It comes in all forms and from friends of all kinds. Some of those friends are from Week of Compassion. They come with resources and with faith. They come with ears and hearts open. They come with hands open ready for work and with hands folded in prayer.” -Rev. Joe Hodges, Senior Minister, The Woodlands Christian Church, TX.
By: Jennifer Allen
God sent the message: feed the masses.
In the community surrounding First Christian Church of Parkersburg, West Virginia, the number of unhoused and underfed neighbors has increased due to COVID-19. Restrictions on housing facilities and illness among volunteers who typically feed the hungry have led to less availability of sheltered beds and fewer food pantries disseminating sustenance to those in need. These dynamics have caused a compound crisis in the community.
On a cold morning, a group of women sit sharing coffee and conversation together. Times have been tough, but as the women share their stories and challenges, an idea emerges. Inspired by their shared experience, and their common love of handmade crafts, they begin planning a project that will generate income for their families.