It has been a strange year! Nothing has happened as we predicted. We began the year with plans which have been radically changed or abandoned. At the same time, new opportunities have opened up that we did not anticipate.
Our plans for teams, volunteers and staff to visit our partners have not come to pass. Planned visits from partners and some new project developments have been put on hold. We now have strong Zoom connections with many partners.
The new opportunities we are experiencing are rich and encouraging. We have also seen your encouraging commitment to supporting GMP partners. This has been highlighted in the record-breaking response to Safe Water September. Your generosity is opening doors as we work with our partners in Zimbabwe and Vanuatu. More exciting still is the work by our partners to support their communities facing COVID-19.
In Bangladesh, there are plans to reach out to more than 600 households with COVID-19 information in local languages, along with food and hygiene kits and livelihood support. In Marial Bai, South Sudan, teachers at the Emmanuel School needing to access students restricted to their homes have been given push bikes to make it easier to visit them. In the same area, small stall holders and charcoal sellers are being assisted to find new ways of generating reliable income.
IMA partners are providing community members with Essentials Packs, to encourage and support some vulnerable Indigenous families.
Our common motivation can be summed up in one word: ‘compassion’, a word used in the Gospels to describe the emotional response of Jesus to people in need. In Greek, it is a strong and emotive word describing a deep, gut-based emotion. When it is used about Jesus, this word is always linked to action. Jesus acts, motivated by compassion.
This is also what motivates our giving, our partner’s response and our commitment to others. We reach out in care and with the prayerful hope that such care will be a symbol of the presence of our loving compassionate Emmanuel – God with us.