Philosophy

Our Philosophy: Serving those in need More Than Ever in response to COVID-19

In everything we do, we seek to serve the whole person: physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Whether addressing the needs of a vulnerable child, the challenges facing a family in poverty, or the issues preventing a community from thriving, we deal with specific problems with the understanding that each issue interacts with and impacts others. In this series, we focus on one specific facet of the complex challenges facing those in need around the world.

Without a doubt, the COVID-19 crisis is truly unprecedented. The situation is changing rapidly, and like everyone, we’re adjusting and changing with it. What hasn’t changed is our commitment: we remain focused on serving those in need around the world, working closely with our local ministry partners. The complications and barriers created by this pandemic have only added to our challenges, which were already daunting. But far from being discouraged, we are strengthening our resolve and asking our donors and partners to join us in this work, now more than ever.

Our first step in crisis response is to work with ministry partners to identify their needs. You can imagine the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic for those who live in impoverished communities that are already without any safety net of social services. In communities like these, living on the edge is a daily reality, and the COVID-19 crisis has pushed resources to the limit:

  • Shelter: Because so many live without adequate housing, they don’t have a safe place to ‘shelter-at-home.’ Women and children in situations of domestic abuse are particularly vulnerable, as their options to find refuge in a shelter are restricted by quarantines.
  • Food: As schools shut down, many children miss their main–or only–meal of the day. Families who depend on food distributions are unable to receive meals and are finding it difficult to gather food.
  • Healthcare: Social distancing is restricting access to already limited  healthcare resources, and medical teams aren’t able to complete their usual child rescue operations. The meager healthcare systems in these countries risk being quickly overtaken by the needs of COVID-19 patients as the pandemic develops.
  • Orphanages: Children in orphanages are at higher risk for the potential spread of the virus, due to their close living conditions. Quarantine orders have essentially locked out orphanage workers who live in the surrounding community. Only a handful of residential staff remain to keep the children safe, fed,  healthy, and occupied.
  • Clean water: For many in developing countries, accessing water is a community activity that is greatly impeded by the need for social distancing around wells or communal water sources.
  • Education: Schools and educational programs have been closed due to necessity, and teaching through technology is not an option for the vast majority.
  • Unemployment: Those who do not have stable or consistent employment in impoverished areas are in precarious financial situations, and unemployment relief from the government is not likely.
  • Ministry Support: Many ministry partners are largely supported  through church mission trips, which have seen a drastic reduction as all foreseeable trips have been cancelled. As a result, many ministries have already been forced to let go hundreds of workers, and more layoffs are expected.

Like the COVID-19 crisis, the scope and scale of these needs are unprecedented. Our ministry partners are facing challenges they’ve never faced before. They are needing to not only address the reality of the coronavirus, they also need to ensure their essential ministry services are able to continue. We are collaborating with them closely to create highly adaptable plans that will allow us to adjust as the crisis unfolds.

Our strategy in response to the coronavirus is to prevent and prepare. We are ensuring that best practices in social distancing and hand-washing  are being followed as best as possible within the context of ministry partners’ limited resources. We’re reinforcing proper hygiene practices and taking sanitation precautions to limit the spread of the virus. Given that the spread of the virus is expected to increase, we are also focusing on procuring medical supplies and helping our partners take measures to mitigate the impact to their workers and those they serve.

We’re also helping our partners explore options and think through ways their ministry methods should evolve as we learn more about this pandemic. Women’s support groups in Malawi and Zambia are using the few cell phones available to coordinate distribution of goods.  New, innovative feeding programs are being drafted to serve poor and rural communities while supporting social distancing. Orphanage workers in quarantine  are taking on multiple roles, finding ways to not only fill in as cleaning staff and cooks, but to continue 2-hour tutor sessions each day for the children.

One of our priorities in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis is to stay connected with you, our donors and supporters. We know you want to stay up-to-date  about these financial and situational needs and how Cross International is engaging around the world. As we share this information with you, please consider giving today to help us meet these unprecedented needs.

We  understand that this pandemic is affecting so many families, including many of our generous and faithful donors. Please let us know how we can best pray for you, as we regularly remember you in our prayers. For we know that despite these challenges, God remains sovereign. We and our ministry partners continue to rely on God for our comfort and provision, and we encourage you to do the same!

OTHER STORIES

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Partner Highlight: Kupenda for the Children, Kenya

Many people in Kenya believe that disabilities are caused by witchcraft or are a punishment from God. Kupenda for the Children’s mission is to fight against these harmful beliefs by training community leaders to serve as advocates for children with disabilities.

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A Summer Without Hunger

Summer can be an extremely difficult time for children in the developing world. For some, school lunches are the only food they can rely on and without consistent meals, these children can begin slipping into malnutrition.

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Any gift you give before the end of the year will be MATCHED dollar for dollar, up to $75,000, to transform lives not only now, but into the future!

Help Children With Disabilities

The UN estimates that between 93 and 150 million children worldwide live with a disability. In developing countries, these children are often unable to attend school, play outside or access specialized resources. Negative stigma or superstition among their parents, neighbors and community leaders often reinforce these barriers.

This year, we’re providing $60,000 worth of medical equipment to Kupenda for the Children in Kenya. This is a very remote location, and your gift will help cover the shipping costs to this very worthy medical outreach.

This gift will benefit: Kenya

Heal the Sick

In developed countries, basic medical supplies such as gauze, wraps, bandages, and syringes are commonplace. Unfortunately, that is often not the case in the developing world. Christian doctors and volunteers in developing countries frequently run low on these supplies, and they also lack the funds to keep large inventories on hand.

This year, we’re providing $84 million worth of medicines and medical supplies. Your gift will help cover the shipping costs to medical outreaches in some of the most remote areas of the globe

This gift will benefit: Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya

Build a Family a Home

A gift of a safe, secure home is tangible affirmation of God’s love for a desperate family — it brings hope, health, stability and opportunity. Most poor families must settle for much less. Mired in poverty, they are forced to live in unsafe shacks fashioned from mud and thatch.

You can provide the life-changing gift of a safe, storm-resistant new home with Cross partners Ambuya Development Center in Malawi and Hope of Life in Guatemala. A new home will ease the family’s burdens, protect them from the wind and rain, and help them achieve their dreams.

This gift will benefit: Guatemala, Malawi

Education

The gift of an education is an investment that reaps long-term dividends for a child’s future. By opening doors for the children of the poor to enroll in Christian schools and get the same educational opportunities as their more economically well-off peers, you are giving not just a hand-out but a “hand-up.”

Your gift will fund Christian education to nurture vulnerable children mentally and spiritually — for thriving futures that will transform hopeless places.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Ecuador, Uganda

Rescue Women and Children in Crisis

Through emergency child rescue services, vocational training, anti-trafficking programs and Bible literacy classes, Cross International is helping vulnerable women and children reclaim their lives. Inspired by Jesus’ love, we work shoulder to shoulder with our in-country partners, empowering them to create change that lasts so that those who need help will eventually be able to stand confidently on their own. Be a part of this good news and make a life-saving gift part of your holidays.

Your gift will help protect victims of gender-based violence and also help save marginalized women and children from harm.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua

Provide Clean, Safe Water

Our ministry partner, the Kachere Development Center, has an ambitious plan to install 20 wells, providing 5,160 adults and 8,414 children with clean water. Our goal is to finance the drilling and installation of one well – part of an entire community water system, which includes training to maintain the well, and sanitation and hygiene training for improved health.

One borehole can provide 2,800 gallons of safe, life-sustaining water every day. Help us bring clean, safe water to one of these villages today — in a way that will last for generations.

This gift will benefit: Zambia

Give Tools for Sustainable Farming

One of nine people worldwide survive on less than $1.90 a day. Without training and supplies to grow moneymaking crops and breed profitable livestock, poor farmers stay locked in the cycle of poverty.

By supporting this fund, you’ll help families break free of poverty — transforming lives for generations. When families get the training and tools they need, it means bountiful harvests and small animals that produce income for a sustainable business model.

This gift will benefit: Guatemala, Nicaragua

Feed Hungry Children

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 811 million in the world suffer from under-nourishment. By providing the gift of food, you will save the lives of thousands of hungry children and their families in developing countries.

Your gift will provide meals for ministry partners such as Divine Shelter Schools in Haiti and Hope of Life in Guatemala. A generous donation during this season of giving will change lives forever.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Malawi

Most Urgent Needs

Inspired by the love of Jesus, we work shoulder to shoulder with local leaders overseas, equipping families with the resources they need to thrive – basics like food, clean water and healthcare, as well as longer-term community transformation projects that will ensure lasting change.

By giving to our Thriving Kids Initiative, you’re not only meeting children’s Most Urgent Needs, you’re also helping lift their families – even entire communities – out of poverty.

This gift will benefit: Africa, The Caribbean, Central America, South America

Feed Hungry Children

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 811 million in the world suffer from under-nourishment. By providing the gift of food, you will save the lives of thousands of hungry children and their families in developing countries like Haiti, Malawi, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Your gift will support the provision of meals and other basic services that are essential for survival. A generous donation during this season of giving will change lives forever.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Malawi

Recommended Gift
$1,000 will feed 30 children for a month | $5,000 will feed 80 children for a month | $10,000 will feed 92 children for a month | $20,000 will feed 184 children for a month

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