As we begin another new year we look ahead with faith and anticipation of all that God has in store for us. We can’t know what disasters our world will face or what type of tragedies families will endure in 2019 but what we can know is that God will provide His love and compassion in every situation. CSI wants to be used by God to offer help and healing in Jesus name whenever we can.
We also look back with gratitude for all of the ways that you partnered with us in 2018 to help people around the world living in the aftermath of disaster and tragedy and those who live in areas of ongoing drought, famine, persecution, and lack of adequate medical services. Each year Compassion Services International sets out to offer hope and help to those in need while sharing the truth about Jesus and the gospel message. Thank you again for making 2018 a remarkable year of doing just that.
In the Spring of 2018, many regions of Africa were experiencing drought. In Uganda, UPCI Missionary Phil Tolstad reported that drought caused famine, exasperated by an influx of refugees from South Sudan, was creating a severe humanitarian crisis. He reported that two UPCI ministers wives had passed away as a result. Near that time, we also received a request to purchase grain for the Sahel region of Africa. While we raise funds for our End Hunger campaign throughout the year, these grave needs prompted us to create a drive called, “Feeding Our Family.” Your support helped to provide relief to each of these needs, distributed through the hands of UPCI missionaries.
Following the volcanic eruptions in Guatemala, the world was quickly inundated with dramatic images of fire and destruction. UPCI Missionary Brad Thompson reported that 10 people associated with the UPC of Guatemala were included among the dead. Following his appeal for relief aid, you quickly helped raise $8,000, which was distributed through Bro. Thompson.
During the Summer, a team of CSI volunteer medical personnel partnered with the NextSteps program in South Asia to conduct medical health fairs to hundreds of people at multiple locations. These efforts in combination with the NextSteps program not only met physical needs but opened the door to community outreach and evangelism.
More recently, India experienced devastating floods, damaging several UPCI churches, pastor’s homes, and congregation member’s homes. One local UPCI presbyter reported that all local (Kerala) dams were opened, there were numerous landslides, and more than 100 church families were affected. You and our supporters helped raise nearly $7,000, which was distributed through UPCI missionaries to that area.
We also want to remind you that Compassion Sunday 2019 is fast approaching. Mark your calendars for Sunday, February 24, 2019. This annual event is a time of focus to raise awareness and funds for CSI. We invite pastors and churches to consider a special Compassion Sunday service and presentation. You can join us on February 24, 2019, or on any day that works for you. Global Missions offering credit is available to churches for funds raised for CSI. Together, let’s make 2019 another year highlighted with the works of compassion. We will share additional information and resources with you in the near future.