“Look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.” (John 4:35 NRSV)
This is an extremely challenging time as we all, here in the U.S. and around the globe, face the COVID-19 pandemic. This New York Times article caught my attention: “Crowded camps, depleted clinics and scarce soap and water make social distancing and even hand-washing impossible for millions of refugees.”
In MCC, we work to increase the capacity of the church and other partners as they support and equip vulnerable people, especially people who have been uprooted and displaced. In the face of COVID-19, everything has changed, and yet nothing has changed. With growing health risks worldwide, MCC’s mission and our programs in water, sanitation, hygiene, health and food are more essential today than ever. In this issue, we read about MCC’s work with uprooted families in Syria and those living in camps for displaced people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). We see the hope that seeds, tools and rented land, resources provided through MCC, bring to people like Nsimire Mugoli of DR Congo.
“I’m thinking the way I am planting, I will be harvesting soon,” says Mugoli. The work that MCC supports in vulnerable communities like these is critical in this time of COVID-19. Around the world, MCC already is responding with essential health services, disease prevention programming and emergency food assistance.
In a virtual worship service this spring, my pastor observed that, with COVID-19, the whole world is feeling heartache. And then she said, heartache has always been there, it’s just that now we are able to see it more clearly.
For 100 years, MCC has worked, in the name of Christ, to see the heartache communities around the world are facing and to respond.
We know this heartache touches everyone. We pray for you and hope you find rest and comfort in Christ’s promises. We are so grateful that you are part of the MCC story.
Despite the obstacles ahead, together with partners worldwide, we are helping people plant and the harvest is coming.
Grace and peace to you,
J Ron Byler
MCC U.S. Executive Director