ECFA Coronavirus Stories of Hope

Remaining Steadfast in Our Influence

"We had big plans this year. It was planned to be the biggest year in our history with new housing starts, much needed staff additions, new programs, and so much more.

Last week we put our plans behind the great needs we expect to see in the community we serve. We expect many families will be in great distress with loss of jobs/reduced work hours, having to provide childcare, food shortages and so much more. We are diverting our full attention to getting prepared to serve our families.

We started by asking a small number of supporters to help us increase our benevolence fund to provide for these needs. We are encouraged by the response and are hopeful that as more people respond we will be able to meet real needs and show the love of Christ in the midst of great uncertainty and loss."

Larry Johnson, Executive Director

Doing Orphan Care Differently

"Child Hope International sent out an email last week asking folks to pray for us and for Haiti. We received more replies to that email than we've experienced in a long time. So many encouraging words about putting our trust in God despite the confusion and fear we are facing daily. I especially connected with Psalm 91. We're thankful for our supporters who are partnering with us in the work to "care for orphans and widows in their distress."

Amanda Magnuson, US Director of Operations

Corporate Chaplains of America

"Corporate Chaplains of America views the American workplace as a mission field. Our goal is to place highly qualified and trained men and women as Chaplains into companies and organizations throughout the nation.

CCA's mission is to place our Chaplains into workplaces to "build caring relationships with the hope of gaining permission to share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ in a non-threatening manner." As global economies rise and fall, one need remains the same – the need for souls to find lasting hope. As you can imagine, the impact on our ministry mirrors the disruption that has occurred in the American workplace. And while it has been significant, our over 200 Chaplains know that "…God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

As a result, by faith, many of our Chaplains put off their vacations, knowing that the employees in their care need them now more than ever.

By faith, many of our Chaplains are finding creative ways to care for their employees extraordinarily, even when their company visits are restricted, presenting the Gospel through email, text, and phone conversations.

By faith, our Chaplains are caring for employees in the hospital by meeting them in the parking lot to pray before they go in and by having FaceTime conversations while they are inside.

By faith, some of our Chaplains are taking a "war-like attitude" seeking to work double and triple duty, covering for the rounds of other Chaplains who may be restricted from serving because of the virus.

By faith, CCA Chaplains are serving with the peace of God and bringing peace to their employees and owners in this tenuous time.

Things continue to change fast, and we don't know what is next, but we know the God who does! Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.

Corporate Chaplains of America experienced an unprecedented movement of God in our midst in 2019, with 2,685 documented first-time decisions for Christ! That's a 25% increase in receptivity to the Gospel over 2018. And the pace has quickened in 2020! Pray with us for the workers, CCA Chaplains, who go into the American Workplace harvest fields every day, by faith!"

Crisis Aid through its Wings of Love and Care program has been helping families in the St. Louis, Missouri area for more than 30 years

"On Thursday March 19th, 2020 we were able to deliver 500 pounds of frozen meats and vegetables to a senior home of 110 people. This community of seniors are shut in because of the high-risk factor related to the Corona Virus. The residents’ normally get supplemented food from area food pantries or the community help center which is located on the premises.

Their name as a home needing immediate help came from another local ministry we partner with from time to time. We called the residence and asked if they needed help with food, to which they responded, “you were right on time”. When we delivered the food, the staff informed us that we came at what they termed a “dire” time. The local food pantry who helped supplement the weekly meals had closed because of the Corona Virus. They only thing they had left to help supplement the people’s food with was peanut butter and bread. Now that we have discovered this senior home, we will continue to help with food deliveries each week until such time the COVID-19 situation ends. During this time of national crisis only God could have pointed us to this small community of people in an area which in all likelihood would have been overlooked. Such a great witness to every one of those residents that God really does see them and loves them by providing the help they needed at exactly the right moment."

Pat Bradley, Crisis Aid

Expand the Kingdom of God on earth by preserving the sanctity and dignity of human life and ministering to all family members needing pregnancy support

"We have been severely affected by this Corona virus here as our new Board President contracted it and was hospitalized Friday, March 6th. We had been with him Wednesday at full staff meeting and Thursday for Board meeting so the entire organization went into quarantine the 2nd week of March. He was the first to pass in Tennessee from the virus last Friday. Thankfully there have been no other positive test results except for his wife and son who had a mild form of it and are recovering.

We voted last night in our Zoom board meeting to postpone our 2 largest fundraising events, Banquets and our Baby Bottle campaign. We are so very thankful that the Lord prepared our ministry financially to hand this and are looking forward to watching the work He will do as we move forward. In the meantime, we have all gotten a bit stir crazy as our quarantines ended just as the counties began their quarantine for all. We are finding creative ways to continue to help our clients and the community support has been a huge blessing. Prayers for all at ECFA to be safe and covered by God's grace and protection!"

Lorna Clews, Treasurer, Board of Directors

Life CHOICES/Pregnancy Support Center

Advancing the Kingdom of God through New Life in Christ

"Our ministry operates a Children's Home, School and Medical Clinic in Guatemala. We had a mission team scheduled to come down during Holy Week. Their trip was canceled due to the coronavirus.

When I called the team leader, who is also one of the pastors at the church, to see what to do with the funds that they had sent in to cover the team expenses and ministry activities, she said to just keep it. "You all are going to need it, and we know it will be put to good use to take care of those kids."

I was brought to the point of tears. We had just been talking about how hard the virus has hit the US, not only health wise, but also economically, with people losing their jobs and paychecks. Their own church is looking for ways to trim their expenses in order to get through this time. But they continue to look outward to see what they can do to show the love of Jesus. I know that God is going to be glorified in extraordinary ways through his people and his church in these days."

Kendon Wheeler, President

We're better together!

God intends for us to do youth ministry in community so together we can reach every teenager with the gospel. We need each other.

"The National Network of Youth Ministries had an incredible opportunity to serve youth leaders. We created a collaborative event to allow youth leaders to share ideas and be encouraged. We hosted a 9am-Midnight (eastern) Zoom conversation led by our staff. It was an opportunity for youth leaders to ask questions, share ideas, offer their joys and sorrows as well as praying together. We served youth leaders from all over the country by letting them know that they were not alone.

Youth leaders became essential members of many church staff. They were the only staff member who knew how to use all forms of social media, how to embed a video, or host a zoom call or google hangout. In the changing world of ministry, youth leaders are vital. I marvel at the creativity of youth leaders and celebrate what they bring to ministry. As we say, Never Alone because we are Better Together!"

Randy Davis, Executive Director/CEO

Do Something

We Do Tough Things for People in Tough Places

"In this tragic time, Christians in remote places are praying for us! God is shining brighter than ever in the midst of darkness.

This photo is one of many of those we are serving in SE Asia. They are praying and fasting for us.

How beautifully humbling."

Tiffany Livingston, Director of Strategic Partnerships

From the Outside Looking In

“If you didn’t know me back then, you might have thought I had the perfect life,” Tanika remembers. “From the outside looking in, I was the perfect mom and perfect wife, with a job that paid all the bills and more.” But on the inside, Tanika's world was crumbling.

Having grown up in a big family, Tanika was fun-loving and happy. It was an ideal childhood, actually. Every time someone in the neighborhood was celebrating something, Tanika’s house was the place they went. “Our house was the hub for all things social,” says Tanika. “Every party was held there.” So it’s not surprising to know that Tanika began to dabble with drinking at the vulnerable age of fourteen. She goes on to say, “It was mostly on weekends when I was hanging out with friends.”

By the time she turned twenty-one, she was happily married, had two kids, and owned a new house with the picket fence. Tanika and her husband were living the dream. As their careers soared and work became their focus, the family structure started to crack. “Our marriage was crumbling and there was nothing I could do to stop it,” says Tanika. “I felt helpless and hopeless so I turned to what I knew best...drinking and partying.” As Tanika’s life began to spiral out of control, her kids watched her drown the pain with alcohol. “After the divorce, I tried to hold it together, but I just couldn’t,” says Tanika. Her decision to enter Teen Challenge was a group effort. “When I talked to my kids about coming to Teen Challenge, I told them that I didn’t want to be away from them for a year,” says Tanika. Her kids responded with, “Mom, you’ve been gone for a while now. What’s one more year? Just go.”

Tanika’s kids and grandkids are so happy to have her back. Today, Tanika is flourishing. “Everything I was worried about leaving behind to come here, God has made provisions for. Teen Challenge has truly saved my life and I thank God for that daily,” she explains. Due to the opioid epidemic, the rise of alcoholism rates, and sex trafficking being at an all time high, Teen Challenge is responding to an enormous cry for help from so many men, women, teens, children, and families. People’s lives are spiraling out of control and they’re sinking deeper and deeper into addiction to escape the pain.

We need your help. We know we can't help everyone, but we'd like to help as many as we possibly can. Your gift can help save a family or a life, like Tanika's. Would you be willing to commit to giving, in order to fuel our growth through the coming summer months? With 60+ years of ministry behind us, Teen Challenge is a faithful and accountable program in which to invest your giving. Thank you for caring and making a difference."

Dr. Randy & Dana Rowe, Executive Directors

Story of Hope

Location: Jinotega

"Yadira was in the first trimester of her pregnancy when she and her husband had to migrate for seasonal work in the coffee plantations. She had been enjoying what she was learning from a Community Development Agent, Iris, who was leading the Healthy Beginnings program for mothers, pregnant women and teenagers at the local church. Iris and another nurse began looking for Yadira when she stopped attending the twice-monthly meetings. They could not find her, nor did anyone know anything about where she was; it was as if she had just disappeared.

The reality was that the coffee season was approaching, and the couple had migrated south in pursuit of the three-month opportunity to earn reliable income which only comes once a year. Months passed. Then one day as Iris was making home visits in the community, Yadira appeared. She was holding her three-month-old baby in her arms, wrapped up in a sheet. She was distressed and handed her baby over to Iris for help.

As Iris unwrapped the sheet she was overcome with shock, followed by tears. The baby, a boy named Mario, was emaciated and in very critical condition. Iris immediately arranged transportation and took the mother and baby to the hospital where Mario was treated for extreme dehydration and malnourishment. Iris stayed by the family’s side those first few weeks in the hospital, then with Mario’s care at home and follow-up visits to the hospital. Once stable, the doctors diagnosed Mario with Down Syndrome and a non-critical heart condition.

Week by week, Mario’s growth slowly progressed. Thanks to Iris and the support of the Healthy Beginnings Program, Mario is growing! He nurses and drinks a special formula for weight-gain, his anemia is combated with Vitamin-A and Yadira’s nutrition has improved through monthly donations of soy-fortified meals.

“Mario and his family have become a part of my family.” Iris adds, “Every advance, however small it may be, I have celebrated with great joy and each setback has saddened me greatly. Together with the help of our heavenly father, Mario can fully recover from his malnutrition.”

Katie Beasley, Communications Director

Love Jesus, Journey Together, Bring Hope

"A little about what we’re doing to support other ministries:

WoodsEdge has formed a volunteer ministry team of businessmen and women, who love helping people. Specifically, this ministry is built around providing guidance and assistance to churches, ministries and small businesses to walk them through the difficult process of preparing for and applying for relief through the CARES Act and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

Since last Monday, we’ve walked 25 organizations through the pipeline, many who have already had their applications received by their banks. We have found extreme joy in helping to “Bring Hope” (one of our WoodsEdge Mission statements) to these organizations that wouldn’t otherwise know what to do. It’s what we in the business office can do to help. We stay on top of the changes in the SBA and the Treasury, have a network of people in various banks to get questions answered, and we just love hearing the demeanor change on the other end of the phone when we pray with these organizational leaders and tell them that God has this too!

We’re excited to see what God is doing here, and we love that we GET to use this as an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus during this crisis."

Paul Willis, Executive Pastor of Operations

Serving 10 Million Meals -- More than 5 Million Already Distributed

"In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Convoy of Hope announced an initiative in March to serve “10 Million Meals.” Since then, the nonprofit organization has delivered more than 5 million meals to partners, churches, and community organizations across the United States. Convoy of Hope has received hundreds of requests for assistance from more than 40 states.

“We are grateful to hit the 5 million meal mark,” said Hal Donaldson, president of Convoy of Hope. “But the need is still so great. We’re going to do everything possible to keep our fleet of semi-trucks rolling. Once we reach 10 million meals, we plan to set an even higher goal.”

Lines of cars are longer than expected at distribution sites, said Donaldson. “Lots of people have lost their jobs, children don’t have access to school lunch programs, and some stores are struggling to keep their shelves full.”

“Thanks to the generosity of corporations, individuals and churches, many families are receiving much needed help,” Donaldson said. “This is a united act of compassion. We’re seeing so many groups link arms to help people get through this crisis. In some respects, kindness is a medicine that many Americans need right now, and we’re seeing it being given out across the nation.”

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches, and disaster response. Visit convoyofhope.org to donate to their response."

Jessica Blake, Public Relations Director

Jeff Nene, National Spokesperson

Giving Life. Giving Hope.

"Great love stories can start in the strangest places. For embryo adoption parents Kendall and Matthew Henderson, love bloomed in a bowling alley. They met there when they were both students at Auburn University.

Mistaken Impression

“We were both under the impression that we needed a physical education course to complete our degree requirements,” Kendall remembers. “So we both randomly chose to take a bowling class off campus.” A few weeks later, each of their advisors told them they’d made a mistake. Neither Kendall nor Matthew actually needed the PE class after all. No matter. The ball was already rolling on their romance, eventually leading all the way to wedding bells. Kendall and Matthew started trying to have children in 2015. Given her family history of infertility and some other health issues, Kendall had a feeling conceiving wouldn’t be easy. Turned out she didn’t know the half of it. “What we did not know is that along with the “normal” health issues I had, I also have endometriosis and produce large cysts on my ovaries every month,” Kendall says. So in addition to the standard emotional baggage that accompanies infertility, this young couple had to come to terms with the fact that attempts at pregnancy were potentially putting Kendall’s body at risk.

More Discouragement

As if that wasn’t discouraging enough, genetic tests had revealed something else: Kendall was a carrier for a genetic mutation called Fragile X. “We were told that we could keep trying to conceive until we hopefully produced a viable embryo,” the Hendersons say. “But if we passed down the Fragile X gene to our future children, they could not only have fertility issues, but also genetic abnormalities in their own children that would likely lead to a loss of life.”

Reordered Steps

This news reordered Kendall and Matthew’s steps. It launched them down a path of intense prayer and research. “We had already discussed adoption,” Kendall recalls. “But we were still clinging to the desire for me to carry a child.” Because it seemed like the best way to fulfill their desires, the Hendersons decided to go with embryo adoption through the National Embryo Donation Center. If successful, this would give them a child who didn’t share their genetic material, but would still be 100 percent theirs. Plus they could control the prenatal environment and experience the wonder of pregnancy. “The NEDC has always represented hope for us,” Kendall and Matthew share. “Even when our first embryo transfer was unsuccessful, we never felt that we were at the end of the road.”

Reminder of the Lord’s Faithfulness

They weren’t. In fall 2019, after nearly a five-year struggle with infertility, Kendall gave birth to Lily Ruth through embryo adoption. “Her first name is a constant reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness,” Kendall says. “Matthew 6:28 tells us not to worry or be anxious for anything, stating that if God takes such tender care of the lilies in the field, then He will surely take care of us.” Lily’s middle name is rich with meaning as well. “Just as Ruth was adopted into her mother-in-law’s faith and became part of her family, so Jesus has adopted us and called us daughters and sons of the King,” they explain. “We pray that Lily Ruth will cherish her adoption story, and always know that God chose her to be part of our family.”

And to think it all started with what most would consider a random chance meeting at a bowling alley. Ask the Hendersons, though, and they’ll tell you that when you’re walking in faith, there’s no such thing as a fluke."

Mark Mellinger, Marketing & Development Director

The Holy Sprit is at work in the prison system

"God is continuing to work in the prisons that we minister to. Today we reported that 851 inmates have made a decision for Christ this year alone! We’ve seen a surge of new prisoners seeking to enroll in our Bible study discipleship course since this pandemic first began to shut down our country. God is using this crisis for His purposes and we give Him all the glory for what He is doing and what He will continue to do when this pandemic is over.

CLI Praise Report During 2020 Pandemic

Our Operations Director, Tim Curington, praises God for His goodness during this unprecedented time. Every part of the CLI ministry is up for the month of March!"

Tim Curington, Operations Director

Work is a way to love God, serve our neighbors, and demonstrate the gospel

"With nearly 22 million people now unemployed, many of us are asking what we can do to help. Practically, as I write, millions of Americans are receiving stimulus checks from the federal government. Some will need this money greatly; yet many of us know people in our own churches, communities, and businesses with far greater needs than our own. In the past couple of weeks, in partnership with two friends in Denver, we launched SharetheStimulus.org.

The idea is simple:

 

  1. Ask people to make a pledge to give a portion of their stimulus check to either their favorite charity or directly to a person in need. It could be 50%, 25% or 100%.
  2. Then, ask them to actually do it and give generously. It could be to a church benevolence fund, nonprofit, or a warm meal for a neighbor.
  3. Finally, share the story. We want to hear of the creative, diverse, and fun ways you’re sharing your stimulus check with your community.

 

The idea of the website is to be able to give practical tools for sharing this vision in your community, and to be able to track the progress we’re making together in encouraging generosity.

I'm writing to ask you to do two things:

 

  1. If you’re receiving a stimulus check, would you first take the pledge, give, and share your own story?
  2. Would you help spread the vision in your organization?

 

Attached is a simple guide for how to do so with your church community, including sample talking points, email content, slides, and social media posts. (This guide is specifically for churches, and we have additional resources for a nonprofit or business setting, not assuming employees there are people of faith.) Together we could make a tremendous impact in a time of great need. Thanks for considering sharing this vision in your community. If you do, please let us know! We want to share your story to encourage others to sacrificial generosity.

What if we were able to collectively spread a movement of generosity that showed the sacrificial love of Jesus to our world in a time of great need? This is indeed a small act, but perhaps this could grow into a movement of people showing God’s love through radical generosity with money we had never expected to show up in our bank accounts in the first place.

Thank you, friends. I appreciate you sharing the message in your networks. “For God so loved the world that he gave…”

Your friend, Jeff

PS. If you have any questions about sharing the vision in your network, let me know. And in case you were wondering, we’re not actually collecting any money for anything! We’re funded by private givers, and just here to encourage that one person to take the risk and give out of love."

Jeff Haanen, CEO

Investing In Human Futures

"Our ministry has pivoted for the time being. Over the past month, we have been able to provide nutritious groceries to over 35,000 people near our ministry sites in Cape Town, Manila, and Quito. God is blessing us with increased opportunity. He is providing the necessary resources from donors in the USA as well as locally. We are building redemptive relationships with those we regularly serve and with many new people. I can’t wait to see how these new relationships will grow our ministry impact for years to come.

Our faith is being stretched and strengthened!

Thank you, ECFA, for ministering with us. Together we are bringing hope and the love of Jesus to people living in extreme situations."

Jerry Carnill, President / CEO

Equipping Haitians to Change Haiti for Christ

"Our ministry crews in Haiti have been very busy helping our sponsored children and their families survive the effects of the Coronavirus on Haiti. They sent me some pictures from their work this morning which I attached below. Our ministry partners and our supporters have been wonderful during this time.

One of our ministry partners in Haiti, Junior, got sick last week. We thought it was COVID-19, but he tested negative for the virus. Still he was feeling bad for about a week. Our people prayed for him and he got better.

One of our workers, Papa got saved the Saturday before Easter. He’s the mason on our construction crew. He has been in poor health for a while. Our other partners visited him at his house and began witnessing to him as they have many times before. This time, he accepts Christ as his Lord and Savior.

It’s a privilege to be a part of the ECFA family. Thank you for your prayers!"

William Nealey, Jr, Executive Director

Transforming Lives Through the Love of the Lord in Times of Crisis

“When the storms and viruses of life strike, we can feel afraid and alone without knowing what to do. Way Cool Angels focuses on bringing the love of the Lord to transform lives so that all can have the strength to face life’s challenges. As a community that works for daily bread, COVID-19 has caused severe strife and hunger across Cabo. Way Cool Angels has been bringing food, water, masks, gas, baby diapers and formula, etc. to those in greatest need. It is the sincere love and comfort of these gifts during times of crisis that enable the love of a living God to come into desperate people’s homes and hearts. Although the crisis of COVID-19 will pass, the precious and special love of Jesus will remain.”

Karen Faith, President

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