Mission Report October 2020 – When It Rains, It Pours
The expression, “When it rains, it pours,” usually refers to bad news – that when one bad thing happens, it is followed by several other problems. That understanding could certainly apply to the COVID pandemic that has been so devastating around the world. While we here in America fretted over the initial shortage of toilet paper and the inconvenience of having to wear masks in public, the rest of the world – where there are no stimulus checks and unemployment benefits – was literally staving to death because of the lockdowns that have been imposed. We heard from our “boots on the ground” in Nepal that fifteen hundred people had committed suicide – opting for a quick death rather than the slow, agonizing death due to starvation. Our contact in one African country shared with us that, before they had heard about the need in one of the families they work with, the entire family of five had starved to death. In response to the great needs of the ministries we work with around the world, Teach All Nations has reallocated the funds that we usually spend on airfare and conference expenses to help feed believers in a dozen different nations – Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Honduras, the Congo, Liberia, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Uganda, Nepal, Niger, and even here in the US – who are living without income for their daily sustenance. The resources were used to feed hundreds of families plus children in orphanages and residents in rehabilitation centers. We have received many reports that when the workers brought food to the homes, they were greeted with joyful celebration because the families had totally run out of anything to eat. On one occasion, we accidentally called one of our friends while attempting to dial our contact in a totally different part of the world. In the conversation on that “accidental” call, we learned that he had just finished distributing the food that we had helped supply, but the need in his community was still great; so, we immediately send him funds to restock his warehouse.
There is another interpretation of the expression, “When it rains, it pours” – the one adopted by the Morton Salt Company to proclaim that their salt continues to pour out of the shaker even when the humidity is high – like in the rainy season – while other salts get moist and clog up the openings. We have heard that some ministries have experienced serious drops in income during these hard times while many of their supporters have been out of work and their businesses have been closed. However, the loyal friends and supporters of Teach All Nations have continued their giving as usual – proof positive of God’s promise to open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings that we aren’t even able to contain. (Malachi 3:10) One vivid example of this supernatural supply came when we received three generous gifts that came totally unexpectedly. The first was from an old friend that we had not had contact with for over forty years; next came a generous check from an individual who had only donated to the ministry once before, and the final check came from one of our regular donors, but this check was more than he normally gives in a whole year. With a surplus of three thousand dollars over our normal budget for the month, we asked the Lord if there was something special that He wanted us to do with the funds – and the answer came within just a couple days when the ministry that we work with in the Congo contacted us about the need to expend their building to add on rooms to accommodate patients coming out of the hospital. If these patients go immediately back to their shanty houses in the village, they are subject to infections and complications since the conditions are not sanitary and their families don’t know how to care for them as they are recuperating. The project was estimated at six thousand dollars; so, we told them that Teach All Nations would give the first half if they could raise the rest from other sources.
One other meaning for “When it rains, it pours” can apply to literal rain and literally pouring – something that happened in Myanmar. The roof of the church that we work with there had deteriorated to the point that water literally poured into the sanctuary every time it rained. The pastor was in serious straits because there was no money to do repairs since most of his congregation was out of work – and, in fact, were being supported by food that we had furnished. When he called us and asked for help, we were happy that we had sufficient funds on hand to allocate for the repair of the roof and the interior of the church that had been damaged by the water.
Although we have had to cancel seven mission trips – Myanmar, India-Sri Lanka, Mexico, Brazil, Philippines, Congo, and Nigeria – we have been able to minister remotely through ZOOM conference and through the distribution of books that we intended to give away in the canceled conferences since they were already printed and in storage. So, the ministry was not totally “rained out” even though we are having to take a “rain check” on our travels.