It is a good tradition to end the year at Christmas with an appealing for donations for our projects with children at risk. In the process of closing the annual financial year we are moved by how many people and churches participated. Even though the audit for the financial year 2020 will not be completed until the second half of February, we already know: last year we were able to finance all projects to the extent we had promised or even beyond. Our project managers succeeded very well in saving money during the pandemic, where programs had to be scaled down, and still continued to help effectively.
In many places, the employees have maintained close contact with children and families despite everything. At the social center in Diadema, they are lovingly cared for, experience God’s love, get good food, play and have sports activities, learning assistance, various course offerings, and social help for the whole family. Diego himself came to faith through a sports program in the Baptist church. Today, the young man is a sports instructor at the social center. He says, “Working in the sports program has been a great privilege from day one; playing soccer has made us a family. Although there are difficult children here, they play fairly. I think the devotions at the beginning help a lot. Especially now in the pandemic, when sometimes children call me desperately asking for help because they have problems at home, I pray with them. This always encourages them and God intervenes in the lives of the children. Since I started working in the sports project, I have learned much more than I have taught. I can give more value to simple things, I now love people more than material goods, and I have grown closer to God. I cannot put into words the love that the children give back to me: it is a pure, friendly love that expects nothing in return. It’s something divine.”
From Evinayong in Equatorial Guinea, our missionary Marta Nombela reports that the churches and the school had reopened since September 2020. “It was a joy to be able to receive our children again, even if it was quite an adventure because there were many rules about hygiene and safety that we had to follow. During all this quarantine time, however, we were able to see how God was working: Churches have grown and new people have come to know Jesus in the midst of so many difficulties. At school, we continue with strict regulations with the school kitchen, where every day the little ones get a glass of milk and a plate of food. And: what is their favorite dish? Lentils.
Two brief insights that show how much children have continued to benefit from our projects in the midst of the pandemic. Passionate voices of people who care and are there – even if this currently has to happen at a distance.