Coronavirus Response Update
Stories of Impact in a Time of Crisis
Generous donations have expanded opportunities for Pioneers missionaries to serve and reach lost people across the globe.
In times of crisis, it’s natural to pull back and wait to see what will happen. But as the coronavirus pandemic unfolded, we saw many believers respond with sacrificial generosity instead of caution. Praise God!
More than five months ago, God led Pioneers-USA to establish a Coronavirus Response Fund. Donations would be used two ways:
- To help Pioneers members facing unexpected needs and expenses due to the pandemic. Learn what kinds of things they are up against in Caring for Missionaries in Light of COVID-19 and Five Ways to Pray for Missionaries.
- To fund ministries of compassion among refugees, ethnic minorities and other vulnerable populations in places where our teams serve worldwide. We shared stories about some of these projects in our two-part series on Creative Compassion. Now there’s more to tell.
Pioneers Teams Launch 33 Projects in 16 Countries
More than US$200,000 has already been given to the fund. Pioneers teams have begun at least 33 new virus relief and response projects in 16 countries. In many cases, missionaries worked hand in hand with local churches, like-minded ministries and other groups on the ground. These were joint efforts, tapping into existing relationships and forging new ones. What a joy to be part of that!
Feeding the Hungry, Sharing the Gospel
- A team in the Middle East created a food-voucher program that fed refugees. Others gave out large bags of rice or distributed fresh produce in the neediest neighborhoods.
- There were no strings attached, but as their tangible needs were met, many recipients opened their doors and hearts. One asked, “Why would you pay for people’s vegetables?” Another asked, “Why are you so loving and caring for people you don’t even know?” Questions like these led to discussions and the birth of three Bible study groups—groups we hope will multiply so more can hear the life-giving gospel.
- A ministry in the Arab world visited 85 families in their homes, shared Bible stories with them and offered prayers in the name of Jesus.
- And in Southeast Asia, 20 people who received food aid responded to the gospel and were baptized. Would you please pray right now that these new believers would continue growing in their relationship with God?
“I praise God for sending me food through the donators and thank them for the big support.” – A Christian sister in Southeast Asia
So far, the Coronavirus Response Fund has made it possible for workers to prepare and distribute more than 32,775 relief packages, which fed approximately 78,230 people.
Personal Protective Equipment
Demand—and need—for soap and sanitizer, face masks and shields and even hazmat suits has grown exponentially during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Some Pioneers teams assembled and distributed packages of emergency supplies to distribute among the poor.
- A couple of teams involved in the textile industry pivoted to start making face masks.
- One team, serving in a city with many clothing factories, arranged to purchase thousands of locally made hazmat suits to supply local hospitals. As people heard about it, this project expanded from their city to across the country with help from others who caught the vision. See Serving Healthcare Workers During a Crisis.
In all, we’re happy to report that more than 32,160 pieces of personal protective equipment, including masks, face shields, and hazmat suits have been distributed to 120 hospitals and clinics. Everyone who gave to the Coronavirus Response Fund helped make that possible.
Many of our teams use websites and social media to sow gospel seeds and find those ready to respond. But more people have been online more in recent months, and many of them seem more receptive to spiritual conversations as they think about life and death, suffering and purpose. One Pioneers ministry reported a 60% increase in the number of Muslims responding to their messaging on Facebook. May they persevere and find the answers they seek.
Find yourself able to give in this strategic season? There still is time to partner with Pioneers teams as they continue to meet various needs through response projects. Your gift to this fund will help extend these projects as long as they are needed.
Stories from the pursuit
Photo Essay – Punjab, India
Punjab Province is one of India's wealthiest region and the homeland of the Sikhs, one of the country’s most recognizable and self-confident minorities.
Video – Some Jungles Have Wifi
Bangkok has nearly 15 million people. Less than 1% of them follow Jesus. This place is hotter, harder and more resistant to the gospel than you can imagine.
Photo Essay – Streets of Bangkok, Thailand
Wanderlust—or a passion for the nations—got you longing to travel? Make a virtual visit to a busy, East Asian city: Bangkok, Thailand. See yourself there?