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Behind the scenes: How generosity becomes hope



  • October 24, 2016
Mandi Corbett

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You have provided lifesaving supplies to refugees in excruciating need, delivered critical aid to victims of natural disasters the moment it was needed, and provided food and medical care for children on the brink of starvation.

But how exactly are your provisions of aid and relief translating to hope in hurting communities around the world? That is a process our humanitarian aid team is deeply committed to carrying out every day.

“You can’t walk up to someone who is starving and just start sharing the Gospel,” said Josh Brewer, program director of humanitarian aid at World Help. “You first have to give them something to eat and drink. Meeting physical needs sets the stage for spiritual transformation. That’s what gets me up and into this office every morning.”

According to Josh, providing effective aid and relief should always begin with a question.

“We start by asking our partners what they need,” Josh said. “We ask them, ‘How we can help meet the needs of the people you’re serving … how can we make your ministry flourish?’”

Bringing the Gospel to broken communities is rooted in humility, Josh explained. World Help’s partners on the ground are the experts of their ministries and the needs of their communities. They share with us how we can best meet the unique needs; then we follow God’s leading to establish avenues to do so.

Once needs are assessed, our humanitarian aid team gets to work, searching for ways to procure the resources needed — food, clothing, medical supplies, bedding, and so much more.

“I’ve seen the look of relief come over the face of a mother in Guatemala when we handed her a month’s supply of food. That one distribution would mean an entire month that she wouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal would come from,” Josh said.

Not only do these resources meet immediate needs, they pave the way for long-term recovery.

“Instead of scouring the landfill for scraps, she can now focus on raising her children and pursuing new opportunities,” Josh continued. “That’s true transformation — when we can enable others to reverse the cycle of poverty. That’s what hope looks like and that’s what makes every step of the process worth it.”

Once carefully attained through government grants, product partners, and individuals, goods are delivered to the World Help warehouse where our team quickly begins sorting, processing, and loading supplies for shipment — a process that would be nearly impossible if it weren’t for our passionate volunteers.

Jesalyn Stuck is a student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, who volunteers each week to assist with organizing supplies for shipment.

“It’s really cool to see how doing something so small could make such a big impact in someone’s life,” Jesalyn said. “I mainly count and organize the products, and just knowing these shipments are going across the world to the places they’re needed most is an amazing thought.”

A precious little boy named Matthew is alive today because of medical supplies that recently arrived in Zacapa, Guatemala.

Matthew is the firstborn child of Eugenia, a young mother living in the dilapidated village of Peten, Guatemala. Born prematurely, Matthew was fighting critical respiratory problems that only grew more complicated over time.

The medical center staff did everything they could to save Matthew’s life, but without proper supplies, their efforts were failing. Matthew’s condition was deteriorating quickly until the container of medical equipment arrived.

Today, Matthew is well on his way to recovery. Our partner met with Matthew and his mother, who readily expressed her gratitude for the supplies that saved her son’s life.

“We are deeply grateful to God and you all … little Matthew would have died if he did not receive the special care needed for his recovery. Especially if the hospital did not have all the supplies needed.”

Katie Vargas, who works with our partner in Guatemala, has witnessed these shipments saving lives and bringing hope to remote communities on countless occasions.

“These container donations have given the neediest people of Guatemala access to vital medical supplies and equipment — lifesaving aid they would have never received otherwise. These supplies have been distributed to nearly 50 hospitals and saved the lives of thousands of vulnerable children,” Katie said.

Whether you have chosen to provide aid for one refugee or covered the cost to ship an entire container, your generosity has opened doors for eternal hope to take root in a community that desperately needed it. Your compassionate giving is not only saving lives, it’s rescuing souls for eternity.

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