“In a crisis, it is easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of God’s power to build us up and to take away our suffering … By coming alongside the hungry with food, Matthew and his team can alleviate suffering and build families up, letting them know they are not alone.”
“God elevates and alleviates,” said PAOC global worker Matthew Price, speaking with ERDO early this summer through Facebook Live. Matthew and Amber Price have been living in Thailand for the past four years. Amber is the director of Impact School of Missions (ISM) and focuses on leadership development. Matthew works with ERDO as the national director for ChildCARE Plus (CCP) Thailand. He oversees 17 staff across three out of four regions in Thailand, where 461 sponsored children are being educated, fed and taught the gospel.
With so much need in the world, Matthew and Amber were looking for a guiding star to bring focus to their work in the developing world. They settled on this statement: “God elevates and alleviates.” He builds us up and He takes away our suffering.
Since March 2020, ERDO has been consumed with the global COVID-19 crisis, responding across more than 30 projects with emergency food, sanitation and PPE (personal protective equipment). We stand with our partners and their struggling communities. We see the effects of this pandemic as lockdowns heighten worldwide hunger and starvation. We understand the urgency of stopping the spread of this disease and urge our supporters to continue giving to their global brothers and sisters in need.
In a crisis, it is easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of God’s power to build us up and to take away our suffering.
In Thailand, working with Matthew Price, we are providing emergency food supplies to 293 sponsored children and their families. Matthew and his team identified CCP families in the greatest and most desperate need. By coming alongside the hungry with food, Matthew and his team can alleviate suffering and build families up, letting them know they are not alone.
Matthew says, “Above everything else, CCP is a relational program. God is love and therefore we are loving to the best of our ability. I think that shows up in the relationships our team has with the children and their families. That doesn’t go away just because social distancing comes into play. We don’t stop. We don’t lose that. If it were just some program or formula, it would die, but because [we have invested] years of relationship, it stands and thrives.”
In Honduras, ERDO is working with PAOC global worker Kathy Mizen, director of Schools of Hope. Together we are feeding 275 vulnerable CCP families. Many have lost their income during COVID-19 and are unable to buy food.
In her Facebook Live interview with ERDO, Kathy talked about the hardest part of her job—the impossibility of helping everyone. “I, as one person, cannot help everyone. Even our ministry can’t help every single person on that mountain in Tegucigalpa,” she says. “I just have to come back to this focus: Kathy, you are making a difference—one kid at a time, one family at a time. I can’t take the weight of the world on because that’s God’s.”
Coming alongside many ministries all over the world, we can see God and His people at work. God sees those who are hurting, and He provides relief.
Through Matthew Price and Kathy Mizen’s ministries, ERDO helped to support 568 families in need! ERDO also brought emergency food and sanitation to 25 other countries with 35 different projects. And our response is still growing. We recognize that the need is great and sometimes overwhelming, but our God’s power to ease the suffering of the poor is still greater.
To become part of ERDO’s ongoing COVID-19 crisis response, visit our website at www.erdo.ca/covid-19. To read many more stories and see pictures of our partners’ food distributions, sanitation programs, and COVID-19 awareness campaigns, follow ERDO on Facebook (@erdocanada), Instagram (@erdo_canada), and Twitter (@erdo_canada). Thank you for your generous support on behalf of partners like Matthew Price and Kathy Mizen.
Alicia Kolenda is the marketing and communications officer at ERDO (Emergency Relief and Development Overseas).
This article appeared in the October/November/December 2020 issue of testimony/Enrich, a quarterly publication of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. © 2020 The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Photos © ERDO.