HOW WE’RE COPING WITH THE CRISIS
An Open Letter from Kirk Nowery
Dear Friends and Partners,
In these days of worldwide crisis we continue to press forward in ministry at all four of our Hope Centers. All of our Directors report that the work is becoming more challenging with each passing day. Here’s a brief recap from each one…
Costa Rica Hope Center: Ashley Gonzalez reports that all private schools have closed and public schools will soon follow. The government has ordered that no large gatherings take place, so Openhouse Church has cancelled services until further notice. All vocational activities at the Hope Center have been cancelled; but the kitchen is being kept open and is still serving meals to poor children. Ashley has implemented health and safety protocols such as the use of paper plates and plastic utensils. She has sent home all staff over 55 years of age until further notice. She reports that the government has not yet taken any action to help the poor during this crisis.
Venezuela Hope Center: Director Luis Rhea reports that conditions there are dire. Hospitals are without water and electricity, and food is difficult to find. The Hope Center is operating on a shoestring budget. They are in desperate need of increased financial assistance. Luis says that open sewage is now a huge problem in Venezuela. And to meet this current pandemic, no COVID-19 testing kits are available. They are grateful for the generators we recently sent them, but so much more help is needed.
Delhi Hope Center: All Delhi schools, universities, and large venues are closed. The Indira Ghandi Airport is a ghost town. Violeta and I went to a normally bustling hotel at 6:30pm two nights ago and we were the only people in the lobby. With schools closed, all but 18 of our girls at the Delhi Hope Center have been sent to their villages or to relatives. As the girls left the Hope Center yesterday their eyes were full of fear and uncertainty. We are interviewing candidates in our search for a Director, but this situation has disrupted that process.
Ajmer Hope Center: The regional government hasn’t yet closed schools so our school remains open for now. We have established health and safety protocols for the protection of our girls and staff. We are isolating any girls with runny noses or flu-like symptoms. The government isn’t providing information for testing, especially for the poor who are nearly always neglected. One of our dearest friends here, a doctor at St. Stephen’s Hospital in Delhi, said the government won’t report on this until it becomes an out-of-control crisis. Presently there is only one hospital in North India assigned to testing for COVID-19 and one Army Base for quarantine. At the Ajmer Hope Center we are fully operational and open. One of the complexities is that our school is designated as a government exam center for 10th grade children. This will undoubtedly present additional risks to our staff and children.
I have never seen anything like this crisis in my lifetime, and I’ve been around a long time. As severe as this threat is in the U.S., I believe it is exponentially greater in the places where we serve. The desperately poor cannot stockpile food and supplies. They have very limited access to medicine. The extremely poor—especially children and single mothers—have no place to go, no one to whom they can turn. Many of the people to whom we minister are living hour to hour, not day by day or week by week.
Please continue your support of each Hope Center. God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him and who give generously in His name. I completely believe He will provide for you as you provide for “the least of these.”
If at all possible, give to the Where Needed Most category on our website so we can direct resources and funds to the right place.
Thank you again for your partnership and your faithful, generous support.
In the Hope of all hopes,
for the Hope Partners Team