Stay-at-Home or Starve-at-home?
The world has changed quickly. For many people already living in poverty, an order to stay at home and quarantine with no notice has been a disaster. Many people in the countries we partner with work day labor or get paid weekly. They have no savings account, no retirement fund to pull from. They had no warning to stock up food when stay-at-home orders were enacted. People are hungry, they are facing starvation, and we have had reports of death in India. Even when the stores have food, people do not have the means to purchase any.
We were recently introduced to the Johnson, a family living and working in Panama who have started an outreach to provide food and basic necessities to their community. Answer the Call will be partnering with this amazing ministry, and we love their commitment to their neighbors.
Here is a letter we received on from from them:
We are very strained. We are doing so much right now. We are worn. We live in a blue collar neighborhood, most of our neighbors are local bus drivers. All the buses have been stopped so they have no income now. Boquete is a tourist and a rural community. All the people are becoming broke and in trouble. This is shut down is catastrophic for the business owners and all their workers.
Also, talking with our community leaders: Most panamanians work for a week, get paid, and buy food for a week. That is just how they live. Therefore, consider that they now have no work, no pay check, no. If our ministry is made for anything it is this. We began preparing to help out with basic necessities to our neighbors and those in need. And I pray that the trucks keep coming up the mountain to bring items to the stores. We are really one step away from needing more than plywood on windows. There has been looting and store break ins out of sheer desperation. People here really truly have no food and no way to get food because, like I said the buses have stopped running. We have made survival boxes. Each box is only about $12 to put together. We made about 25 of them to start. Then we got with a few others and have built and distributed at least 100 or more of these.
To make things worse. We are only allowed out of our houses for 2 hours per day to even buy things. Your time out is based on the last digit of your Panamanian I.D. My last digit is 1 so I can go out from 1 to 3. I must wear a mask and gloves, I must stand 6 ft away from people and I must show my ID number in order to get into any store. Nothing is open except pharmacies, grocery stores, a few hardware/farm supply stores and medical centers (and you are not allowed to just walk in these). Police and military enforcers are everywhere. Bruce, Brhon, Zach and I all have different last digits. So we are constantly running errands and helping with people who don't have money or transportation. People need medications, things break, people need help. We are in desperate times. We personally are okay, our home is well stocked, it is concrete walled in and we have four very loud protective dogs. The Lord has had us prepping since we moved here. We have a deep pantry, a 1000 gallon water reserve, a small back up power reserve, a greenhouse, a chicken coop, fruit trees...we are good.
Please continue to pray for us. Our money is depleting fast but keeping people fed until the government steps in (which we hear is going to be soon) is way more important. They will never forget this Jesus we tell them about who sent people to care for them during this terrible time.
Love you! We are here for such a time as this!!
Our Answer The Call relief fund is providing the means for thousands of people to have a meal each day. Please consider partnering with us to help save lives. Our food distribution gives hope and an opportunity to minister in the name of Jesus. It is a tangible was to show the love of God to a hungry and broken world. We are providing food in India, Nepal, Panama, and Ukraine and as always 100% of your donation will be used.