Looking back over 2018, what is highlighted in your memory? If you’re like most people, it isn’t stuff but memories of people. At Compassion Services International, we are grateful for the moments in 2018 that we have been able to serve communities, families and individuals because of you and our many supporters. Although not a complete list, these are some moments we remember:
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, which 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 Next Steps program in South Asia to conduct medical health fairs for hundreds of people at multiple locations. These efforts, in combination with the Next Steps program, not only met physical needs but opened the door to community outreach and evangelism.
More recently, India experienced devastating floods, which damaged several UPCI churches, pastors’ homes, and the homes of congregation members. 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.
What headlines will fill the news this year, nobody knows, but we want to be prepared – especially for those of like faith. Please join us in sharing and preparing for Compassion Sunday 2019, a yearly time of focus to raise awareness and funds for CSI. We invite pastors and churches to consider a special Compassion Sunday service and presentation. This year, Compassion Sunday will be held on the last Sunday of February, Feb. 24, 2019 or whichever Sunday works best. 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.