1st Quarter 2018 Update

Making A Difference!
Thank you for being part of our first quarter projects. Your continued prayers and support reach around the world each month.
puerto rico lady in wheel chair
JANUARY
  • The year began with additional supplies being delivered to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. In the picture above you can see Mirna one of the recipients of a New Year’s weekend delivery. Because of your generosity, CSI not only provides relief in the immediate days following a disaster but also months later.
  • 2017 tax letters were mailed out in January. We use the physical address we have on file or if no physical address has been provided then we use the email address that we have on file. If you have not received your tax letter please feel free to contact our office and a copy can be sent to you.
cyclone gita church damage 2018
FEBRUARY
  • Additional supplies were delivered to Puerto Rico in February. The hurricane may have been months ago but the aftermath doesn’t go away in just a few days.
  • February brought Cyclone Gita to Tonga. This was the worst storm to hit the area in 60 years. Your donations helped to supply 50 families with food and hygiene items as well as materials for church and home repairs.
  • CSI held our annual Compassion Sunday event on February 25th. This day is an opportunity for churches to share the mission of CSI with their congregations and the donations help us be ready to answer the many calls for help that are sure to come throughout the coming year. If you didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Compassion Sunday event you can still help us be ready for 2018 by making a donation at any time. Also be sure to save the date for February 24, 2019, and join us for Compassion Sunday 2019.
MARCH
  • The month of March didn’t bring any new disasters to CSI but the cleanup efforts continued in Tonga.
  • We also discovered that our Instagram account was hacked and unfortunately we were not able to recover the account. We have opened a new account so we would love to have you follow and share the new account. INSTAGRAM

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We couldn’t do what we do around the world without you so thank you for all of your continued support!

The Giving Way of Life

 

hurricane-matthew-haiti-8How do you and I go beyond just existing and live a life that is truly worth living? How do we have an abundant life? In this broken world is there such a thing? The message the world seems to scream at us is to focus on our own happiness, our individual well-being and what’s good for me. Getting as much as I can. Excess and more and more is the message of the society we live in.  But is that really the ultimate goal? Is that all there is? What if there is more? Maybe just maybe the joy of living is found in the joy of giving and not in the joy of getting.  After all, doesn’t a life worth living ultimately come down to giving? Spurgeon said that “giving is true having.” The truth is there is no life worth living without giving, without generosity. Matthew 6:19-21(NLT) tells us, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

Is it important to God for us to live this giving way? For God so loved that He gave….. Isaiah 58:7-9(NLT) gives a pretty good indication of how God feels about this giving way of life. “Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer.‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.” This world that we live in is broken. It’s aching. It’s in need. Christ gives his gifts through us to this broken and aching world. He gives to us but not so that we can hoard and hide but so that we can give and bless.

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But what if we still feel like that what we have to give is not enough? Can our small acts of giving really change the world? Change our own lives? The truth is that every gift given creates a ripple effect that keeps going. Research says that those who give have reduced stress levels, lower blood pressure,  reduced anxiety, and increased endorphins. If the physical benefits don’t convince you that this giving way is the best way to live wait until you experience what God does with the giving life. Luke 6:38 tells us that when you give your life away, it’s not just given back but given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way.

The only way to have true life is to give of the gifts you have been given. We all have time, talents and treasure that we can give away. Because, if our life isn’t about giving then we don’t have a real life. So often we want to hold tight-fisted onto what we have for fear that if we let it go, we will not have enough. How many times do we use this as an excuse to keep ourselves from giving? Matthew 6:26-34 clearly lets us know that we do not have to worry about what we will eat, drink or wear. Our heavenly Father will take care of our needs and make sure that we have enough. How often do we give but hold back on what we give because of the fear of not having enough? Do we ever give to where we feel true sacrifice? We don’t have to be void of need in order to meet the needs of others. We can’t be consumed with caring most about our comfort. Will we be the ones to live a life of giving, to keep our eyes open to the needs around us, to not just talk about being Christ-like but will we be the hands and feet of Christ to those in need? Will we realize that to live in abundance means to give sacrificially? It’s up to us to decide if we will live filling our lives with more and more stuff or if we will give so that we can have more of what we really desire, more of Him and His abundance because when we give to the least of these, we are giving to the Lord, (Matthew 25:40).

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But compassion isn’t just a once in awhile action. It has to become our everyday lifestyle. Living by giving to those who can’t repay you is the way to abundance in God. We just celebrated Easter and Jesus didn’t hold onto His life, but He gave. God so loved the world that He gave. So what can you give? Your gift will not look the same as the person next to you, and that’s okay as long as you give from your abundance. The way to abundance is in giving. So give out of your abundance to those in need. While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” (Luke 21:1-4) The widow got it. The way to abundance in God is to give to God.

burkina faso children

So what kind of life do you want? Are you ready for the abundant life? The giving way of life? Compassion Services International has many projects around the world that minister to the physical and spiritual needs to some of the world’s neediest and most vulnerable citizens. We know that you have many choices when it comes to giving and we are so thankful to each one of you who supports this ministry. Live abundantly today!

2017 Year End Review

Thank you for making 2017 another remarkable year of service for Compassion Services International. Our world was marked by an unprecedented number of natural disasters in 2017. Because of your prayers and support, CSI was not only able to respond to Hurricane victims from Texas, Florida and The Caribbean but we were able to help with additional requests from 9 different countries.

georgia tornado relief

Our first request came in the very first month of the new year. From January 21st through the 22nd 41 tornadoes ripped through the state of Georgia killing more than a dozen people and leaving a path of destruction. Many people lost everything and were forced into shelters or into the homes of friends and family until it was safe to return to their homes to assess the damage. With the hope of offering a sense of normalcy in this tragic and stressful time, CSI provided gift cards that victims could use to purchase personal items, food, and clothing as they began the process of rebuilding. We are thankful for New Life in Albany, Georgia and their help with the distribution of these gift cards.

Chile Fires 2017

Just after the New Year in Chile, more than 100 fires burned hundreds of thousands of acres. By February 10th many of the fires had been extinguished but there were several still burning. The fires destroyed homes, land, livestock and killed at least 11 people. In February, CSI was able to help rebuild the home of a church member whose home was severely damaged in the fires. In the same month, we were also able to provide building supplies to a church in Louisiana that was still recovering from the massive flooding the previous summer.

peru church roof

March brought heavy rains to Peru dumping more than 10 times the amount of normal rainfall. Homes and other structures suffered great damage because they were not built to withstand this amount of heavy rainfall. The heavy rains caused mudslides, overflowing riverbanks, displaced thousands, isolated hundreds more because of the washed out roadways and was responsible for more than 70 deaths. CSI partnered with missionaries on the ground to help repair church buildings like the one above, purchase food, clean water, and other relief items.

south sudan medical supplies 2017SOUTH SUDAN 2017 GRAIN

As Spring began to blossom in many areas villages in South Sudan were under attack by violent groups. Families fled for their lives and more than 5000 people found their way to Mayom Totin where there is a young church plant. This town was thankfully peaceful and had security and so the families were able to live in safety. However, there was not enough food and medical assistance and many people arrived with injuries sustained during the attacks. The members of the church were doing all they could to share what they had with those who had arrived but they did not have enough to meet the needs. Thanks to your generosity funding for food and medical supplies were sent so that the church could provide support to several families.

sri lanka flood 2017 debris

The month of May brought the worst flooding Sri Lanka had experienced in 14 years. More than 250 people were killed one of which was a young boy whose family attended one of the local churches that CSI was able to support during this tragic time. Along with this church, CSI was able to assist 3 additional churches. The 34 families that CSI helped from these churches received things like food, water, and personal items to help them as they sifted through the rubble in the aftermath. While these may seem like small things in the face of such disaster it’s often a tremendous blessing to those suffering because they do not have to burdened with worrying about the basics in the face of all they do have to do and think about.

liberia roof

The photo above shows some of the damage to the ceiling at the medical clinic in Liberia that CSI supports. The damage was a result of heavy rains that caused major leaks in the roof of the clinic. Patients would have to be shifted from room to room because in some rooms the damage was so bad. Without the proper repairs, the clinic had been in danger of being temporarily shut down. Since hundreds of people rely on the services that the clinic provides each week and many of the patients travel great distances to get there shutting the doors even temporarily was not something the staff wanted to do. So many of you responded to this need and the clinic was able to remain opened and the roof was repaired.

Miragoane Haiti Church Damage Hurricane Matthew

In July CSI was able to continue the rebuilding efforts in Haiti by providing the funding to rebuild a church in Miragoane that was badly damaged during Hurricane Matthew. While the immediate emergency situation is over CSI remains committed to helping our partners in Haiti. The only way we can do this is because of the faithful ongoing support of people like you. The work on the church in Kenscoff that was also badly damaged during the storm was completed over the summer.

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As the summer months rolled on several days of heavy rain in Sierra Leone caused a massive mudslide that devastated an entire area of Freetown and killed more than 1000 people. Residents had limited access to clean drinking water and toilet facilities. Not only did thousands of people lose their homes but because few residents have bank accounts they saw their life savings washed away. CSI was able to provide more than 40 families with food, clean water, and other emergency supplies as the people affected began the arduous task of clean-up and rebuilding.

This summer saw multiple hurricanes do tremendous damage from Texas and Florida to the Caribbean. CSI was able to quickly respond with supplies, medical support, and financial assistance. You can read more about our efforts HERE in issues 27-10 and 27-12 of the IBC Perspectives.

muslim shelter

In September CSI was able to rebuild the home of a Muslim convert in West Africa that was destroyed by a severe storm. This man was the only believer in his town and he used his humble shelter as a place to share the gospel with his community. Many structures in the town were destroyed or badly damaged during this storm and this man’s home was the first to be rebuilt which was a great testimony of how the one true God provides for His people. Thank you for giving. So many times meeting the physical needs of people opens doors and hearts for people to receive the gospel message.

The UPCI General Conference was also in Septemeber and we were able to travel to Kansas City, MO and have three exhibits in the exhibit hall. You may have seen Big Red at one of our displays. Big Red traveled thousands of miles delivering hurricane relief supplies.

general conference 2017 big red

During the last quarter of the year, CSI continued to work in the Caribbean offering assistance to hurricane victims, schools and was able to send a medical team of volunteers to Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Harvey Relief

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hurricane harvery csi trailer

hurricane irma maria shipping containers

hurricane harvey preschool

Thank you for all of your prayers and support in 2017. We look ahead to 2018 with great faith and hope. Be sure to like us on Facebook and to follow us on Instagram for the latest information. We also want to remind you that February 25, 2018, is Compassion Sunday. Please join us as we prepare for the upcoming year. When you give on Compassion Sunday you are investing in furthering the mission of CSI. We depend on your faithful giving to ensure that we can meet as many needs as possible each year. We have free resources that you can use on our website. If you just can’t wait until the 25th you can make a donation today. Donate Now to the Compassion Sunday Fund or any of our other projects.

compassion sunday 2018

 

 

 

Compassionate Christmas

For most of us, this is a time of year that is filled with the hustle and bustle that this season tends to bring. Most of us have made a list of family and friends that we will buy gifts for, menus have been planned and the decorations have been put up. The shopping, traffic, long lines, and wrapping often times create anything but the Silent Night that we sing about. At CSI while we hope that you enjoy all that this season brings we also hope that you will take time to reflect on the meaning of the season. The reason for celebrating. It’s about a loving and compassionate God who came down to save us. Emmanuel, God with us.

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While there are many gifts that you can give, Christmas is a great time to put God’s compassion on display for the whole world to see. It’s a time to remember those who are living in desperate situations around the world. Situations that don’t disappear just because it’s Christmas. We want to encourage you to give a gift of compassion this year. Let this Christmas be a time when your compassion goes beyond a feeling without any personal involvement. There are so many needs in the world that need your help. Whether you find a need close to home or around the world let your compassion be put into action. If you need any ideas you can visit www.compassionservices.org   where we have current and ongoing projects that could use your support.

All of us at CSI want to thank you for your support and want to wish you a very Merry Christmas. May you feel the love of Jesus in a special way.

 

 

Christmas

3rd Quarter Update

The third quarter of 2017 presented numerous disaster situations with critical needs to be met. Thank you for coming to the aid of so many who were faced with desperate circumstances.
In July, before the wave of disaster situations, CSI was excited to once again attend the North American Youth Congress this year. The event was held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Indiana. More than 34,000 youth from around the world converged on the city with the purpose of worshiping God in Spirit and in Truth. The services were power packed and we enjoyed getting to meet so many of you who took the time to stop by our booth. We are already looking forward to 2019. We hope to see you in St. Louis.
We were also excited to announce the launch of the new CSI Mobile APP. You can now take CSI with you wherever you go. With the app you can watch videos, view photos, get prayer requests from around the world and leave a note of encouragement, fill out a connect card so that we can stay in touch, and even donate quickly and safely. Just search Compassion Services in your app store.
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August began with devastating mudslides in Sierra Leone that claimed the lives of more than 400 people, 1/3 of which were children.The mudslides caused by heavy rains buried homes and other structures that were little more than wooden shacks with tin roofs. They were no match for the force of water, rocks and mud that came crashing down upon them.CSI had the opportunity to assist 200 families with emergency relief. Thank you to everyone who gave to help these families.
Hurricane Harvey Relief 2
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas over the greater Houston area and the Corpus Christi area on Friday night, August 25, 2017 with winds topping 130 miles per hour. The devastating winds and landmark flooding inland made this an unprecedented event for Texas. With you help CSI was able to collect needed emergency supplies that were delivered to some of the hardest hit areas. Our mobile response trailer was onsite in Port Arthur, Texas and served as a first aid clinic for volunteers working to clean up debris and for the local community. While relief efforts were still underway in Texas, Hurricanes Irma and Maria caused widespread damage in Florida and the Caribbean. So many of you gave and because of your gifts relief supplies have been trucked, flown and shipped by boat to those in greatest need. Everything from bottled water, diapers, canned food, cleaning supplies, generators and so much more.
hurricane maria relief
While hurricane relief continued in the Caribbean we did have the opportunity in September to attend the UPCI General Conference in Kansas City. So many of you stopped by our booth areas to learn more about how to get involved and donated so that the relief efforts in the Caribbean could continue.
hurricane irma relief florida

2nd Quarter 2017 Update

While the second quarter was quiet as far as natural disasters were concerned, each month CSI was still contacted with needs from around the world. Real people with real needs. It is easy for most of us to forget that hunger, lack of adequate medical care and other basics are the daily reality for millions of people. I get it. We are a society that lives and breathes for the most up-to-date headlines. We are information hungry and captivated by images and video depicting the joys and sorrows of other people. When our news feeds are not filled with these needs we tend to put them out of our mind but it doesn’t make them any less real.

 

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Grain distribution in South Sudan

 

In April CSI received information that 30 families had to flee their village because it was under attack. They had to leave everything behind. A small church in the Mayom Totin area took these families in but needed help to ensure that these families received enough food for 2 months. They also wanted to provide seed for planting as these families had no way to earn a living or grow food for the future. By May the number of people in need had grown to more than 5000 due to continued attacks. Your donations helped to supply 805 people with seed and grain along with needed medical care.

 

South Sudan

The people of South Sudan

 

On May 15 of the 25 districts in Sri Lanka were affected by devastating rains. Over 500,000 people were displaced. While we were not able to help all 500,000 we were asked to assist 34 families with emergency relief funding. Once again, you heard the cries for help and you didn’t ignore them and help was sent.

 

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Families in Sri Lanka

 

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Ceiling damage at clinic in Liberia

 

 

The second quarter ended with a request from Liberia. CSI helped to establish a health clinic that hundreds of people depend on. The roof of the clinic began to leak and patients had to be moved from room to room due to the roof problem. The fear of being shutdown was a real possibility which would be devastating to those who depend on the services that the clinic provides. Many of you donated to help with the repairs so that the clinic doors would remain open.

liberia clinic

So remember, just because you don’t see it in the news and it isn’t being shared a million times and being discussed among your friends doesn’t mean the needs are not there. CSI wants to be able to respond to every request no matter how large or small. We can’t do it without you. We also have projects that are ongoing, such as the Restore Haiti project, our End Hunger Fund, Medical Missions and others. So please remember that CSI depends on you to be able to answer the calls for help that we receive each month.

Remember to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also watch past videos on YouTube. Visit us at http://www.compassionservices.org/donate and check out the many ways you can join the mission of CSI.

 

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Burkina Faso just one of the places your ongoing donations helps to support

 

 

 

 

1st Quarter 2017 Update

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.

 

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Pastor Waldron passing out gift cards. 

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.

 

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Photo Getty Images-Fox40

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.

 

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Before the hurricane

 

Kenscoff church

After the hurricane

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.

Louisiana Flooding 2016 7

CSI board member, Lloyd Shirley in Lousiana standing in flood waters. This is actually a road.

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.

 

Peru relief 2

Line of people waiting for relief supplies

 

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One of the churches that need repairs. They are still holding services in the muddy waters.

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!