300 DMG missionaries spread hope and provide holistic help. With your donation for the DMG project "P50261 Corona Aid Worldwide" you support, for example, hunger relief among refugees in South America and the Middle East; hospitals in Nepal, Pakistan, Niger and Benin; pastoral care and creative church building around the world; Theological training centers that are converting to online teaching. In all this, our missionaries are experiencing a new openness to questions about God:
More counseling sessions than usual! (Margarethe Ackermann/Armenia)
Zoom and Skype are the tools for international student work from the living room. Students participate in Bible meetings online, ask questions, read the Bible (often for the first time) and are surprised by what they discover. There are more pastoral care sessions than there were before the restrictions.
Every evening our church meets online for prayer. "I haven't left my apartment for two years", Nadine (name changed) introduced herself. After three weeks being involuntarily confined to my apartment, I was deeply touched by her words. Nadine suffers from anxiety and has tried countless therapists and medicines, nothing has helped her. Her apartment is more prison than home for her. Thanks to Corona she has been able to participate online in the community for the first time and has been deeply touched. Cautiously she asked if we could pray for mentally ill people as well. Saturday was my turn to lead our prayer meeting. God encouraged me to talk about John 14:27: What a God! His peace is available for us, right now! During the exchange Nadine told me: "I have experienced this. Yesterday, in the middle of an anxiety attack, the thought came to me that I could give my fear to Jesus. As I prayed, the anxiety passed more quickly than usual."
In the online worship service the next day, our pastor spoke about how trustworthy God is. That morning Nadine decided to trust Jesus completely: "Today I will go outside for the first time in two years", she said. It made me cry when I heard that. Isn't it great how Jesus meets people? We didn't do much, just prayed with and for Nadine. Corona may limit us, but for Jesus there are no limits!
Colleagues report from a Muslim country in Central Asia:
In the last few weeks we have been able to help well over 100 poor families, including many widows and orphans, with food. The need is growing. Thank you for your prayers! Since the month of Ramadan has begun, we are no longer able to meet with students. So for May we have started a 30-day reading challenge through social networks. From an initial few dozen, we now have 500 participants from 15 countries! Every day they receive the short version of a good book with specific discussion questions for reflection. At the same time we are preparing the lessons for our students, which will probably continue online from June. The day before yesterday a believing couple rang the doorbell and asked for the book of books for a group of new followers. We were able to provide them with Bibles and data cards.
This work in Ethiopia must survive the crisis (Mareike Weber)
As the DMG, we support the non-profit organization "Child Development Training and Research Center" in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), in which missionary Mareike Weber works. They give creativity lessons and workshops for parents, teachers, social workers and the staff of churches to encourage creative thinking in children and young people. Children are the future of Africa! The organization’s valuable work has been acutely threatened by the crisis. They had to cancel all courses, camps and workshops. Their rooms were converted into a quarantine center. The 25 Ethiopian staff and Mareike are trying to make the best out of the situation: they are taking care of 80 vulnerable children from poor families, providing them with food, hygiene articles, medical care and schooling. The DMG provides immediate financial aid for this purpose. In addition, we help them with the running costs and salaries of the employees so that this important training center can survive the Corona period.
500 food parcels per week for the poorest (Matthias Kullen/Peru)
We are moved by the plight of the 12,000 Venezuelan refugees in Arequipa. The curfew has hit them hard and they receive no state support whatsoever. We give food parcels to people in extreme need. Each package contains 2 kg potatoes, 2 kg rice, 1 kg spaghetti, 1 kg lentils, 1 kg oatmeal, 500 g beans, 500 g sugar, 3 tins of milk, 2 tins of tuna fish and a soap. We also include a Gospel of John, other Christian writings or a handwritten or handmade encouragement. Our team of ten has now become well organized. This week we have distributed 500 packages to families and individuals. Next week we have 650 families on the list. Monday and Tuesday we buy the food, and by Thursday it is packed, Wednesday to Saturday we distribute the relief supplies. Whenever possible we try to talk to Venezuelans, many are open to the Gospel.
Italy: 500 masks donated to the city (Thomas and Rebecca Kröckertskothen)
Covid-19 is a disaster in many ways: Many of our friends are on the brink of ruin and do not know how to pay the next bill or rent. Some have lost their jobs with no prospect of government assistance. Please pray that we will be able to help with wisdom and sensitivity and that we will be able to share about Jesus. This time is also an opportunity: in the midst of all this we have become more Italian than the Italians: It's somebody's birthday? To support the business of our city, we order flowers from a friend or a cake from our favorite pastry shop. A Chinese community from Florence donated 500 protective masks to us, which we were able to give to the city. The mayor invited us personally to the town hall. What a way to show that we as a Christian community are concerned about the welfare of our city. The Lord makes the impossible possible!
Rebecca has become a YouTuber: We are putting the English Club for Kids online as short videos. Teachers and the librarian are grateful for this. Instead of once a month, Rebecca's girl’s group, "GirlsOnly" now takes place every Friday afternoon. Every girl now has her own Bible. They underline, read and learn to find their way around the unknown book. Kröcki preaches at the dining room table and uses the computer to produce photos with Bible verses which he sends out. Once a week we send out a devotion as a voice message. We are thankful for a friend from Germany who designs Bible verses in Italian and has allowed us to publish them on the Internet.
Please help us to spread the news of hope: Whether medical, with food aid, pastoral or by studying the bible. You help people who are in need, suffer and experience fear. We follow Jesus and bring them hope.
Project number for donations:
P50261 Corona aid worldwide
Report from April 7th 2020:
DMG Project: Corona Aid worldwide
More than 300 long-term DMG missionaries are fully in service in this exceptional time! This includes in Italy and Spain and also in medical service in clinics in Africa, where the crisis is just beginning. Many are ministering pastorally, using new media to provide Biblical support. Our Deputy Director Andrew Howes writes:
“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)
"He is risen!“ This news inspires hope in the hearts of the followers of Jesus, then and now! A hope that is contagious! In the days before Easter 2020 we have death and its horrors before our eyes: viruses and malice, fear and misery threaten life. Jesus enters death with his eyes open. He is not walking this difficult path for himself, but for us! Jesus Christ has defeated death. He takes upon himself what we owe to God and man and carries our guilt and fear with him down to the grave. These are not empty words: His resurrection from the dead is the proof of this. Jesus is the guarantee for life after death, a life in peace with God - we carry this hope for life within us. And our missionaries pass it on around the globe!
Here are some examples of how we are helping:
Help us to spread hope:be it medically, through food aid, pastoral care, and through Bible study. You, too can help people who are experiencing need, suffering and fear in these difficult days. We follow Jesus and bring them hope.
Project number für donations:
P50261 Corona Aid worldwide
Pastoral care for friends, online Bible courses for children
Thomas and Rebecca Kröckertskothen write from Tuscany, Italy:
Of course we are moved by the helplessness, hopelessness and despair. Nothing will ever be the same again. Italy without tourists? Many of our friends have small shops that were already fighting for survival. They are on the verge of collapse. Sick people suffer and die alone, relatives mourn alone... it tears our hearts apart. What about us? How can we be the bearers of hope? How can we proclaim Jesus without seeming banal?
Technology becomes a blessing: We hold prayer meetings, Bible studies and worship services online and trust that we are somehow of use. Prayer is a main focus, but we also include short devotions for friends and use the website for evangelistic purposes. A wonderful gift is my (Rebecca's) girls group (12-15 years), with whom I meet on Tuesdays and Saturdays for GIRLS ONLY, now online. We have a devotional meeting, do handicrafts and talk. Twice a week I send a devotional message as a voice message to friends - never longer than five minutes! Kröcki has started an online photo course. We make videos with which children can learn English and to show them: We are thinking of you. We also make lots of video calls, phone calls, emails and WhatsApp’s. Please pray for Italy, that Jesus will give hope to people through us, in the midst of the valley of death.
Erwin and Almut Büschlen write from Lombardy, Italy:
People are losing relatives in our circle of acquaintances too. We pray that God will show himself to those who mourn. We live in the midst of this tragedy. It is important that we still "see" each other as a church. The sermon is on Facebook, prayer meetings and other groups "meet" via Skype and zoom. We spend a lot of time helping people who are not so familiar with the new means of communication so that they feel involved. How good it is to be able to pray with each other even on the phone. Please pray also for the children we give homework help to. Helping them over the phone is difficult.
César and Julia Palomino Parada report from Madrid, Spain:
Many Spaniards are thoughtful and open to the faith. A couple from our group sew face masks, which we give away together with Bibles. Please pray that God will use his word. We take every opportunity to tell people “virtually” about Jesus and encourage them. With our small group we meet online via Zoom. Personally, we are thankful that we are doing well despite the curfew and that everyone is healthy. Now we have opportunities to get to know our immediate neighbours.
Food and aid for the most needy
We are especially touched by the plight of day labourers, small farmers, street vendors and simple factory workers in the cities and poor districts. Millions on all continents have lost everything because of the curfews. How are they supposed to support themselves and their families? DMG missionaries and partner organisations help:
A DMG co-worker in the Middle East organises food aid for the most needy in his city. They bring food to refugees and homeless people and to those impoverished by the crisis in their simple shelters, seeking to encourage them. In his prayer requests he writes: "We need strength and wisdom in the distribution of aid and medicine; in the vicinity of our Christian community 300 families live at subsistence level! We support the church community so that it can continue to distribute food and medicine.
Matthias Kullen's team in Peru helps refugees from Venezuela:
We as SIM team have started a project to give food and hope to the weakest members of the Peruvian society. There are thousands of refugees from Venezuela who earn their living with vendor's trays on the street. Due to the curfew they have no income. Our team distributes food to them: We distribute bags with food enough for one family and one week each, Christian literature and hygiene information. Even though we wear masks and cannot even shake hands, we want to give hope to those in need.
We receive shocking reports from partners in India:
The vegetable market in your town is closed. The farmers still have to sell their products to survive, and the population needs the food urgently, what else should they eat? Our partners are looking for creative ways to legally bring the farmers' food to the needy in the city despite the curfew. Their project also includes a health station, which is intended as a reserve ward for Covid patients. They ask us to pray for protection and strength to help many people.
Bible courses and theological training centers
Theological training centers around the world had to cancel classes and send their students home. This causes the loss of tuition fees with which teachers are paid. We are helping institutions in Brazil, Mozambique, Malawi and other countries to get through the crisis and acquire the technology to switch teaching to online. In this way, young Christians can continue to study the Bible!
Inge Michel and Angelika Maader report from Mozambique:
The virus reached our country on 22 March. The teaching at our theological training center INTENA came to a standstill. Immediately we teachers worked out tasks for our students which they can do at home with supervision via mobile phone. Please pray for us that we can give hope and courage to our teachers and students in this time of great uncertainty. At the same time we are concerned that militant groups in the north of the country are attacking the villages.
Verena Schafroth’s (Mozambique) students are helping medically:
Our theological training centre has been officially closed since 23 March and is being transformed into a state health centre, in response to the virus. Most of our students will work as helpers in such virus centres, and at the beginning of April they received special training for this. The number of sick people in the country is growing. We expect to see sick and dying people in the coming weeks. Please pray for strength and wisdom for us.
Medical help all over the world
With your donation you support missionaries in the medical sector and clinics of partner organisations in their dealings with Corona. We help hospitals in Nepal, Pakistan, Niger, Benin and other countries. Some examples:
A nurse from DMG reports from South Asia: "Things are up and down here. It looks as if we will get the first corona patients in the next few days. The preparations in our hospital are in full swing. We do not have an intensive care unit, so we can 'only' offer oxygen and care. We are anxious..."
Midwife Christina Krappe asks for prayer from Benin: "Almost all the staff of our hospital are terrified of the 'maladie'. We now have the possibility in all departments that patients wash their hands with soap. An isolation room has been set up away from other buildings in case we have suspicious cases. With the head nurse and a local tailor, we were able to have masks sewn for the entire staff in the hope that the normal surgical masks would last for a while longer.”
Another example from Africa:
A hospital in Niger needs oxygen
As DMG, we are concerned about Africa, how Corona will affect the continent. In many places it is impossible to limit contact and medical care is often already precarious. In Galmi, on the southern edge of the Sahara, our partner SIM has a mission hospital with 180 beds. They are preparing intensively for COVID-19. Chief physician Dr. Anne-Sophie Rowcroft explained how grateful she is to God that Niger has been spared so far. The first case of corona was reported on March 19. The hospital staff immediately started to adjust their work. Missionary Doctor Rowcroft said, "We are planning in detail how we can look after patients, staff and each other in an emergency."
Oxygen unit failed
The 180-bed hospital employs 235 local nurses and other staff, eight surgical assistants, 15 missionaries, including eleven missionary doctors. It has been included in the red list for Niger as an important facility for Corona, because there are few hospitals of this size in the country. Until recently, its oxygen system was able to produce 100 litres of oxygen per minute - a vital commodity, as COVID-19 attacks the respiratory tract. Unfortunately, the plant collapsed a few weeks ago, leaving only six oxygen concentrators - each unit produces only ten litres per minute. The $4,000 needed to repair the oxygen system represents a considerable financial burden for the hospital. There is a shortage of ventilators throughout Niger; Galmi is not the only institution seeking to expand this coveted resource.
The worries are great, but Doctor Rose Rowcroft remains hopeful. For her, God is a reality in everyday life and the source of her comfort: "As doctors, we come up against the limits of what is humanly possible in many things we do. We are often dependent on God's help. In Galmi we have many patients and always limited resources - this is part of our life here." Nevertheless, the mission hospital wants to prepare its staff for the virus in the best possible way. Thorough hand washing is a priority. An employee at the entrance ensures that every person entering the building follows hygiene guidelines. Galmi will close its outpatient clinic. Important areas such as the care of AIDS patients, the prenatal centre and the dental clinic will continue. The hospital is working closely with the government, which broadcasts information on the current situation to the local population on the radio.
Employees with experience
They are currently looking for suitable treatment centers outside the city where COVID-19 patients can be placed in quarantine so that they do not endanger other patients: "We have already tested this for a cholera outbreak in 2018. At that time, we worked with the government and Médecins sans Frontières to find solutions. We can draw on this experience now." While the global pandemic is worrying many, severe illness is part of everyday life for missionary Anne-Sophie Rowcroft and her team: “Every day we are surrounded by disease and death, which can be tough. The central question today is how we can get the short-term support that we urgently need for Covid-19. We have very little time!"
„Much more than medicine!“
The missionaries in the hospital from other countries are currently under the additional burden of being virtually cut off from their home countries: "The closure of many airports deprives employees of the option to leave the country in case of emergency. The Bible passage 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 has become important to us, so that God's power can shine through our weakness. We look at his greatness and see what he will do in this special situation," reports the chief physician. One thing is especially important to the hospital staff these days: they offer more than medical help, as their website states: "Every day our patients have the opportunity to hear the message of the Gospel in Bible lessons and devotions. We believe in holistic healing - for the body and for the soul!" Jesus is their support, and they pass this hope on to their patients in Galmi.
Help us help others
As DMG we assist partners like this all over the world; in the case of Galmi for the repair of their oxygen system and with basic medical equipment so that they can help patients with Covid-19. We thank you for your support.
Project number für donations:
P50261 Corona Aid worldwide