23 July 2020
World Mission Fund Grants for Coronavirus assistance from June 24th to July 22nd 2020
The global picture of the pandemic is constantly evolving; some partners who seemed to have avoided the worst of situations are now seeing COVID-19 affecting populations in millions. We continue to pray for individuals, families, churches and nations while lock downs prevent people from earning and sharing with others. The Methodist Church in Britain continues to support its partners in this time of epidemic, in solidarity, prayer and financial support for their work.
To date since the beginning of a global lockdown in March, the World Mission Fund has dispersed over £552,000 in support for the work of our global partners. Read reports on how World Mission Fund grants made in April for COVID-19 work, have been used in South India and Ecuador .
The following projects were supported from the World Mission Fund between June 24th to July 22nd, in conjunction with the Emergency Appeal raised by All We Can and the Methodist Church in Britain, in the coordinated response to this global pandemic.
To give to the Emergency Coronavirus Appeal go to: www.allwecan.org.uk/globalresponse
The Methodist Church in Brazil REMA missionary region (£15,000) – Support faith community development and mission boat maintenance.
Brazil is the country in the region with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and very sadly, the country with the highest number of deaths. The secondary effects of this lockdown on the region have been almost as devastating, with many people who work in the informal sector and daily labourers unable to earn a living and put food on their families’ tables
The Amazon communities of Machadinho do Oeste, União Bandeirante and Riozinho are communities between 30 -50 km from Manaus where the Church has established faith communities. The funds are needed to cover the costs of developing cell groups, services, schools of discipleship, family support and work with children and young people.
Although the mission boat is not permitted to leave its mooring at the moment during the current lockdown, it still needs essential maintenance to keep it in working order, or else it will not be fit for going out onto the waters once local authorities ease the lockdown in Manaus. The work of the mission boat is crucial in bringing healthcare to communities who have no clinics or hospitals nearby, as well as for spreading the gospel to very remote areas of the Amazon.
Methodist Church - The Gambia (MCTG) (£10,000) - Humanitarian Assistance during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
The churches have been closed for services and other fellowship meetings and schools are also closed and remain so. Incomes have gone and some are anxious on a daily basis because of rent arrears and debt.
Methodist Church The Gambia (MCTG) are bringing encouragement by reminding people of God’s faithfulness and love that is very much needed. This support will bring help to those who need it the most.
MCTG plans to distribute food parcels to church and community members unable to provide for themselves and families during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in the Gambia. This will be to community and church members living in the six MCTG circuits namely – Wesley, Bethel, Bakau, Serrekunda, Brikama and Central River Region of the Gambia
The United Methodist Church in North Macedonia: Miss Stone Centre, Strumica (£10,000) - Caring for the poor and elderly in North Macedonia during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The impact of Covid-19, not only in terms of lives lost, but also on the economy of North Macedonia, is huge. Many people are unemployed, there is widespread poverty, and particularly elderly people, whose children and grand-children have migrated abroad in order to find a better future there, are often left living in indescribable conditions.
For many years, the Miss Stone Centre, a diaconal institution of The United Methodist Church in North Macedonia, has taken care of these elderly people. These ministries have proved to be an anchor of hope for the beneficiaries, and without them, many of the elderly people would simply have died. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry of the Miss Stone centre faces additional challenges in food price increases, PPE needs, COVID-19 resilient needed ways of distributing meals and increased needs.
In this work,
- 160 elderly and very poor and isolated people in the city of Strumica will receive warm meals daily (Meals on Wheels programme).
- 50 unemployed and/or elderly, very poor people in Radovish will receive a nourishing soup and other food daily (Hot Soup for Radovish programme).
- 30 old, home-bound and sick people in Strumica will be regularly visited and cared for by a nurse and a physiotherapist (Home Care Ministry).
What most of these beneficiaries have in common is the fact that they live in extreme poverty, that they do not receive enough assistance from the State to survive (pension, social welfare, etc.), and that they have absolutely no one else to look after them.
Methodist Church in Malaysia (£4,400) – Myanmar migrant support
There are more than 550,000 Myanmar migrants in Malaysia; an estimated 250,000 are undocumented workers, according to the embassy. Malaysia depends on these migrant workers even though it does not allow all of them to achieve official status. Thousands of the Myanmar migrants in Malaysia have lost their jobs due to lockdowns imposed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The undocumented workers are always vulnerable and now find their hardships exacerbated by a crackdown against illegal foreign workers.
The Methodist Church of Upper Myanmar (MCUM), with encouragement and help from Methodist Church Britain (MCB), initiated a ministry in cooperation with the Methodist Church in Malaysia (MCM) to provide pastoral support and worship opportunities for migrants in Malaysia from Myanmar. MCUM provides one of its ministers and MCM helps with accommodation and pastoral support. This has now been running successfully for some six years or so.
The recent situation has become more severe. At least seven undocumented migrants from Myanmar committed suicide during May and June after several months without any job or prospect of opportunities for work and fearing arrest amid an immigration crackdown, while at the same time not being able to return home. Many suffer from depression while stranded in their rooms. To make matters worse, jobless undocumented workers face difficulties paying their rent. Funding will help with the basic needs of rice and groceries for 150 families and for COVID-19 tests for those who can find other employment.
The Methodist Church in Peru (£8,100) - Medical support for indigenous Awajún community
Peru is one of the ten countries with the highest number of coronavirus infections in the world, there are over 310,000 confirmed cases and 10,952 people have died. The impact is discriminatory, since it has affected communities in areas of poverty and extreme poverty the most, especially in communities that are located in the Andean and the Amazon regions.
During the first months of the pandemic, the territories of the communities in the Amazon region remained isolated, with their borders closed and strict monitoring in place. However, the return of the indigenous people who lived in other cities of Peru and the movement of the population who needed to travel to access state benefits and support, cancelled out the preventative measures that the Awajún and Wampis communities had adopted.
The Methodist Church has a congregation in the Awajún Emat Community, located on the edge of the Marañón River in the Imaza district, Bagua province, Amazon department. The congregation is supported by a Lay Pastor, Edgar Tiwi Atamain*, who is Awajún, and who informed us that the entire local community including his family has been diagnosed with COVID 19. This community has no access to medicine for treating symptoms, and neither do nearby communities. The local health centres do not have the medicine, so the patients must purchase them themselves.
This grant is to provide the medicines advised by Peruvian health authorities for COVID-19 treatment for 780 people in the Emat community and surrounding communities located on the edge of the Marañón River, Imaza District, Bagua Province, Amazon. The church is providing this essential support in a community remote from medical and government provision.
Eglise Methodiste Du Togo (£10,000) – Food kits, sanitation and ministry support
For more than six months, the world has been completely turned upside down in Togo. Like any community, the EMT is made up of members of all classes. All these people found themselves inactive overnight and without income, either partial or full unemployment, or because they went bankrupt.
Some can no longer even provide one meal a day for their families. Single mothers and children are the most affected by this crisis. The church then intends to distribute food kits made up of basic necessities for each of the families identified and who are in dire need.
The church is being proactive on the measures to be taken to ensure that places of worship are not potential centres for the spread of the disease. Therefore, it intends to make available, handwashing devices, hydro alcoholic gel, face masks for the clergy and spray products for temples, places of worship and other places of gathering.
The closure of parishes and places of worship has meant a drastic reduction in Church revenues. Congregations have lost their own income and there is the rise in food prices. The result of all this is that church workers have not been paid for at least three months.
This grant will help support the distribution of food kits, sanitation provisions and ministerial support.
To read and give to the work of the World Mission Fund click here
For other recent COVID-19 related WMF grants go to:
World Mission Fund COVID-19 Grants for May/June
World Mission Fund COVID-19 Grants for April/May
World Mission Fund COVID-19 Grants for April
World Mission Fund COVID-19 Grants before April 8th