2020 was quite the year! It was full of unique challenges that none of us expected, but it was also full of joy and positive impact. Our supporters around the world stepped up in a big way, despite the economic effects of COVID-19, to ensure our kids were still well cared for, and God provided the opportunities we needed to continue sharing the Gospel and helping children thrive.
Early in the year, 14 of our older students in Peru chose to be baptized! Many of these kids had been attending our Life Centers for years. Seeing them take this step of faith made us all so proud! Please continue to keep them in your prayers as their faith grows.
EMERGENCY FOOD DELIVERIES
When COVID-19 hit the countries where we work, it quickly became clear that lockdowns would devastate families who were already struggling. With the support of generous donors like you, we quickly started delivering desperately needed assistance in the form of staple food packages.
Full of rice, beans, flour and more, each Hope Pak provided families with the supplies they needed to survive. We met countless families unable to work due to lockdowns, who had nothing in their cupboards, and no means to procure more food. Their joy and gratitude on receiving these food packages was humbling to see, and inspired us to work even harder to help as many families as we could. In total, we delivered 7862 of these staple food packages to families in Kenya, Uganda, India, Peru, and Haiti.
For many months, our clean water projects were on hold, but towards the end of the year, COVID restrictions loosened and we were able to resume this vital work. We built 22 new clean water tanks at church locations, providing those communities with safe, easy access to clean water for the first time ever. For areas struggling due to coronavirus, these new water tanks were a definite bright spot in the year!
We also delivered 397 household water filters to families who had previously been drinking dirty water. Kids like 14-year-old Bridget were amazed by how this device works. Bridget was used to drinking dirty water. The family tried to boil it as often as they could, but they rarely had enough charcoal to make that possible. Instead, they just drank it as is and suffered repeated illness as a result. So, when Bridget saw clear, safe, drinking water coming from the tap in her new filter, she laughed with joy. For her family, and all the others who received a water filter, this simple gift has changed everything!
CHRISTMAS LOVE PAKS
Despite having to re-imagine our normally large-gathering Love Pak parties, we still managed to share the true joy of Christmas with thousands of children this year! We delivered Love Paks in small groups all around the world.
Wherever it could be done in a COVID-safe manner, we shared cake or other treats to add to the festivities. And in addition to handing out Love Paks, we also shared the Nativity story. In each Love Pak we included a special Christmas devotional that shared the Gospel message. As a result of these efforts, we know of at least 24 children who gave their lives to Christ during Love Pak deliveries this year! Seeing their new faith blossom is the best way we can possibly imagine to wrap up 2020!
These highlights demonstrate an extraordinary resiliency on the part of our staff, kids, and supporters. It wasn’t the year any of us imagined, but we all came together to make it a great one despite the challenges. Thank you for your generosity in 2020 and the difference your gifts made for children in need!