Openhanded Giving

Changing the Landscape of our Troubled World

Openhanded Giving

by David Adcock

Imagine a child who has had their world rocked by the death of one or both parents through HIV or AIDS. Or a child who is hungry and malnourished because his country is suffering a famine and there isn’t sufficient food. Imagine a child whose home has been flattened by a natural disaster and has no protection from the elements. Or a child who is constantly sick because the water he is drinking isn’t clean. Imagine a child who wants, more than anything else, to go to school, but doesn’t have the required shoes. If you were standing in front of any of these children, you would immediately want to change their circumstances. “How can I help?” you would ask. ERDO provides an opportunity to impact the lives of these children through ChildCARE Plus. For $37 a month, you can change the circumstances of a child. ChildCARE Plus representatives who live in the community will evaluate the needs of the child and ensure they get the provisions they need.

When a community suffers from a crisis situation, its foundation is shaken. War, natural disaster and civil unrest can result in death, injury and destruction of property. In such dire circumstances, there is an immediate need for food and clean water, medical supplies and emergency shelter. ERDO seeks to be there immediately. People already caught in the cycle of poverty find recovery from crisis especially difficult. ERDO works with local partners, churches and aid agencies to provide support for them in this difficult journey. Here are some examples from around the world of how your gifts make it possible.

Bahadar Khan understands the devastating feeling of losing everything. When Pakistan experienced severe flooding one year, he lost his home and everything in it. He and his family were alive but had nothing except the clothes they were wearing. They had been living in a cramped tent for weeks. Bahadar was experiencing the despair born of desperation when ERDO representatives met with him. They were able to supply him with an emergency kit which contained more food than they had eaten in weeks. Emergency kits cost just $60 to prepare, and they provide a family with a month’s supply of life-saving resources such as blankets, cooking oil, pots and food. And—best of all—hope.

After the crisis comes the task of rebuilding. Development is an important aspect of ERDO’s mission. Four months after the devastating earthquakes in Haiti on January 12, 2010, the government ordered the schools to be re-opened. However, few schools were able to resume classes as the buildings had been damaged or destroyed, and all of the school supplies, including furniture, were gone. Reconstruction is a slow and often frustrating process, but necessary for communities to become independent. ERDO has partners who live in the hub of the disaster. Using your donations, they develop and complete projects that ensure a safe future for children and their families.

Each crisis, each overwhelming need, comes down to families and individuals like Bahadar. God has given us the incredible privilege of being a part of the solution.”

Poverty is a reality in many areas of the world. In Uganda, warring factions have displaced people and left them without food, water and shelter. This is also the case in the Congo. In Zimbabwe, children suffer from malnutrition and other diseases related to hunger. ERDO is there in each of these areas, providing food, and therefore providing hope. It costs just over $1 a day to feed a hungry child. ERDO is able to partner with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and can multiply your donation through the matching fund support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Your donations mean that children and their parents will be fed—a basic human need.

Each crisis, each overwhelming need, comes down to families and individuals like Bahadar. God has given us the incredible privilege of being a part of the solution. Over the next few months, I challenge you to approach giving God’s way—with an open hand.

There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:11, NIV).

ERDO (Emergency Relief & Development Overseas) is the humanitarian agency of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. ERDO is involved in four key areas: Crisis Response, Food Relief, ChildCARE Plus (Child Sponsorship), and Community Development. David Adcock is the CEO. Visit www.erdo.ca.

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This is an adapted version of an article that appeared in the February 2011 issue of testimony, the monthly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. ©2011 The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Photo © ERDO.

 

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