Dear Friends -
As I write to you from the midwest, fall has arrived and change is in the air. I find myself feeling hopeful and looking forward to this next season! Recently, I was invited to participate in a webinar hosted by one of our church partners, and asked to share about both challenges and opportunities we have experienced organizationally during the COVID-19 crisis. The challenges are easy to identify:
- We understand that globally, masses of extremely impoverished people have lost the little income that was providing for daily survival, causing the children we are called to serve to be even more vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.
- Several of our partners have been negatively affected financially and have had to suspend support.
- Fundraising events, speaking engagements, and meetings have been cancelled or postponed causing additional budgetary concern and stress.
- The rapid implementation of organizational pandemic safety protocols and policies across four countries and seven large scale international programs has taken an incredible amount of focus and energy. Our greatest priority is the safety and protection of the children of Rapha, along with more than 200 international staff who serve them.
Yes, the challenges are easy to identify, but what about the opportunities? As I pondered this question, gratitude began to flow concerning all the ways that the Lord has stood in protection over the work of Rapha International during this season. Here are just a few:
- Our international staff expressed that they and their families felt truly loved and cared for as Rapha International quickly implemented safety procedures, taking action even before we were instructed to do so by governments.
- We saw the creativity of our staff soar as they imagined and implemented ways to meaningfully engage the children we serve and keep everything as normal as possible for them.
- We realized the Lord’s timely provision through a corporate partner who provided a major technology grant just last year. This grant allowed Rapha International to upgrade and implement new wiring, routers, and computers throughout each of our aftercare campuses and Kids Club locations. Due to this generosity and miraculous timing, our teachers, counselors, and administrative staff were able to keep scheduled programming throughout the lockdown of COVID-19.
Several times throughout this pandemic, I have received messages from Rapha girls and international staff, relaying their prayers and concern for all of you- the precious people who stand on their wall of protection through financial and prayer support. Thank you for all the ways that you make it possible to say “I love you” to the children we serve together at Rapha International.
Summer historically brings a drop in financial support and this has been compounded by COVID-19. We need your financial support so we can continue faithfully serving the child survivors in our care, and keep our doors open to those who will need us in the weeks and months to come. Will you send a gift today?