The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact right around the world. Many of our Mission Partners from across our Vineyard family have been severely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown has looked very different to how it looked in the UK and Ireland: the lack of support and infrastructure is prevalent throughout these nations, and the sudden lockdown meant that many people’s incomes were stopped overnight.
However, amongst the uncertainty, we have heard some beautiful stories from Vineyard churches here in the UK and Ireland about how they have reached out to, and supported the local Vineyard church around the world. Their support has enabled many of these Mission Partners to continue and start vital work during these challenging times. We’d love to tell you about a couple of them.
Kids Club Kampala, Uganda
Kids Club Kampala (KCK) is an organisation bringing hope and love to children and vulnerable and poor communities throughout the slums of Kampala. While Kids Club would usually be utilising teaching spaces for learning, they have temporarily been adapted into food banks to feed families and the vulnerable during COVID-19. With additional financial support from their partner churches, KCK were able to feed 32,000 families giving away over 1.2 million food parcels since March 2020. KCK has also installed hand-washing stations and is endeavouring to implement toilet blocks throughout the slums to increase safety and cleanliness both now and in the future. In all of this, KCK has not forgotten the education of children. Teachers are creating homework packs that are being delivered to children living in the Kampala slums to help them continue their education at home.
Calvary Church Network, Sri Lanka
Some of our Vineyard Church family have also been able to support Leslie and Shanthi Matthews who lead the Calvary Church Network in Jaffna Sri Lanka, who focus on growing a network of church leaders and planters across the North of Sri Lanka, where they currently have 34 church plants in their network. The additional financial support that was given to these partners has enabled them to continue supplying food packages to vulnerable families and communities. A further 100 families have been supplied with a basic food package of rice, sugar, tea leaves, Dhal, chickpeas and flour.
Leslie and Shanthi have also begun an incredible new project, with these funds, where they are aiming to create 50 new home gardens. These gardens will be placed in communities worst affected by COVID-19. The gardens are providing communities with a way to increase their food production and sustainably support themselves during the pandemic. Home gardens will provide families with more fruit and vegetables, therefore improving their overall health and have the ability to increase and supplement a family’s income during this time.
As Vineyard churches, we have been blessed to be a blessing. We are blown away by stories of generosity and risk, especially in such an uncertain and challenging time. If you would like to know more about Missions, Mission Partnerships or how your church can partner with Vineyard churches around the world, please email [email protected].