COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund
Update as of May 20, 2020:
The Committee on Diaconal Ministries’ COVID-19 Pandemic Response (CPR) Fund has nearly $20,000 in generous donations to date! With these gifts, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries has already been able to respond to requests for financial assistance.
In response to their request, a gift was sent to our brothers and sisters in the Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church (AEPC) in Kenya, a denomination with whom the OPC has fraternal ties, where they have been in coronavirus lockdown since mid-March.
Much-needed aid also went to our missionaries in Mbale, Uganda to distribute food as hunger seems to be a significant impact on the developing world. Missionary Charles Jackson relays thanks in this note, “Blessings from Mbale. Thanks so much for the quick response to our request. I sent out a truck full of posho and beans to the churches in the Mbale presbytery this past Saturday. I appreciate it and at almost every stop the churches told us to communicate their heartfelt thanks to the OPC for sending this for them. It is a kind relief in the middle of a pretty serious lockdown here so thank you very much. Please communicate our thanks to the CDM for helping with food relief here in Mbale. Blessings, Charles”.
Please consider a donation to your local deacons or presbytery first before contributing to this fund.
With COVID-19 looming darkly over us, the one thing that is clear is that no one but God knows what will happen. From our limited, human perspective, everything is up in the air and anything is possible. Can I encourage you in the thought that the Lord, in His divine providence, has opened up a short-term mission field to you right where you are — right in your own neighborhood?
We are privileged to enter into a disaster that one of our churches might be facing, to advise them on how to prepare for the weeks, months, and possibly years ahead, and to coordinate assistance to bring them through it. With a local disaster, it’s important for a local church to consider that most likely their ministry has instantly changed from what it was before the disaster. The normal lives their congregants once enjoyed have been stripped away. They all now suffer as affected persons, suffering the trauma of one of the most difficult things to have lived through, and possibly suffering additional trauma as the effects of the disaster are uncovered bit by bit.
In a similar fashion, we are now living through a disaster of sorts. COVID-19 is a special kind of disaster, and the aftermath it’s leaving in its wake looks quite different from a hurricane, and yet, it’s dramatic nonetheless. What’s so unique about this COVID-19 disaster is that it is not bound by a local or regional area. Nearly the entire world is suffering from it directly. Further, it’s a disaster that is still unfolding. We can sense that the tide is rising and that it’s rising fast, but it is so hard to see or measure. This is certainly evidenced by the drastic, and even draconian, measures being taken by governments around the world. These measures are incurring unknown harm to our economies and financial systems as well as our emotional well-being, but are intended to lessen the deadly impact of this virus. It is unclear what a “post-COVID-19” world will look like, but it’s likely to be different from life as we knew and enjoyed just a few months ago.
As such, most of whom we know are living with a growing level of fear: fear of the unknown, the invisible, the future–the things they love most. Some may even fear death. This fear might be felt by our friends and neighbors. Do they know the love and hope that we hold in Christ?
The OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries recently opened a COVID-19 Pandemic Response (CPR) fund. This fund will be used to bring financial relief to those impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you would like to contribute beyond your local diaconal giving, please go to COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund Giving. If you have any additional questions, please contact us: [email protected].