The first 3 months of 2017 have come and gone. Once again the world suffered many natural disasters during this time. Month after month and year after year tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and more wreak havoc on communities around the world. These disasters are one of the reasons we exist. To offer help. To offer hope. To show love. To share Christ by being his hands and feet.
In January CSI was able to send aid to the state of Georgia. We worked with a local pastor, Steve Waldron, after an EF3 tornado ravaged parts of Georgia, on January 22 as it tore through an almost 71-mile path through parts of five Georgia counties, to help purchase gift cards for families who needed help getting basics like, soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. While these may seem like small things to the average person you understand the importance of providing people the opportunity to get the items they are accustomed to using in the aftermath of these events. This is just another way of bringing comfort to those who have lost so much. So again, we want to thank you for every donation to help the people of Georgia.
The month of February also brought a different kind of disaster. Wildfires in Chile. Thanks again to our generous donors we were able to send funding for the reconstruction of a home that was destroyed in the fire. Sometimes it might seem insignificant to only help one family when there are so many others who are suffering. What good is it really to help just that one? But the principal of helping even just one is something we see in scripture, Luke 15:4 tells us, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?” ESV We read about this concept again just a few verses later when we hear the story about the woman with the lost coin. And then in verse 10 of Luke 15 we find out the real significance of just one, “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” NLT When you give to CSI you can know that your contribution is making a very personal difference in people’s lives. We are not always able to reach the masses like some larger organizations but we can reach the few or the one that otherwise might get overlooked.
During the month of February, we also launched our Restore Haiti campaign. The funds raised are being used to help rebuild 4 churches that were badly damaged during Hurricane Matthew. Funding for work on the church in Kenscoff has already been sent.
We are so thankful for every person that has given to help Restore Haiti. The need is still great and we have not raised all of the funds needed to repair all 4 churches but CSI is committed to making sure that these churches get the repairs they need. You can still help us with that goal by donating today to RESTORE HAITI I have had the privilege to attend church services in Haiti and let me just say, the people of Haiti know how to worship God and they will worship him in the rubble and in the ruin but let’s tell our brothers and sisters in Haiti that we have not forgotten them. We will help to restore the rubble to a solid foundation.
Several months ago severe flooding caused widespread damage in the state of Louisiana. CSI has been able to help several churches and families with needed supplies and support. One church in Holden, LA was still in need of repairs to their Educational building and I am happy to report that CSI was able to help with this project.
The first quarter came to a close with an urgent need in Peru. The heavy rainfall that has drenched parts of Peru are the worst the area has seen in decades dumping more than 10 times the normal amount of rain in some parts. The Peruvian government estimates the death toll from floods is 94 while relief agencies estimated that 700,000 persons have been left homeless in 12 of the country’s 25 regions. Many people have been cut off from relief because of the widespread damage to roads and bridges. “We’re trapped and we can’t get out,” said Carmela Calle, a 43-year-old homemaker in Catacaos who spoke to The Times by phone. “Please help us. We are on the roof with a newborn baby and two elderly relatives. We are desperate and without food. We have lost everything.” CSI is working with Missionary Dominguez and his family to help their local communities with food relief and basic supplies. We are also hoping to raise additional funding to help repair 8 churches that we know have been damaged. Once these churches are repaired can offer not only places for worship on Sundays but can be a place of refuge all during the week for those who are without hope and help. If you would like to donate to help Peru you can DONATE TODAY.
CSI is sent many requests each year. Every quarter brings with it new disasters and opportunities to help those in crisis situations. We long for the day that we can say yes to each one. We have a deep desire to be able to send all the funding that is requested for each project but the reality is we can’t. We can’t do it without you! Right now we have 3 requests for urgent medical needs around the world that we are not able to meet due to the lack of funding. For some requests, we haven’t been able to send the full amount needed. We trust that God will provide a way for those in need even if it isn’t through us but would you pray that during 2017 and beyond that CSI would be able to meet even more needs? If you are a regular contributor we say thank you. It is because of your faithful, ongoing support that we can say yes to so many requests. If you are someone who has given in the past but for whatever reason, you haven’t given in awhile then we ask that you prayerfully consider where God might ask you to give now. Maybe you have never been a financial contributor to CSI. We want you to know that we still value your support. We know that many of you pray for these needs and you help us share the mission of CSI with others and we depend on you. But if you feel like you are ready to go to the next level then we invite you to visit our Website and explore the different projects that so desperately need support.
Thank you again for a great 1st quarter. We know that God has great things in store for the rest of 2017!