“How will Venezuelan refugees who begged or sold plastic bags in the city for their daily income gain money to buy food during the lock down?”
This question came to my mind in the first week of the COVID-19 lock down in Peru. Two weeks later SIM Peru started, together with workers from other missions, “Alianza de Amor” (Alliance of love COVID Emergency Project).
The first week we packed 150 food bags. The word got around quickly, so that the amount increased to 1,000 bags each week. About 3,000 families registered in our specially designed website to receive a food parcel and each family was scheduled to pick up a bag of food every third week. The project not only benefitted Venezuelans who were out of work but also those Peruvians who had lost their job because of the lock down.
Many beneficiaries told us that the food bag helped them survives as they could not buy food as well as pay the rent for their room or flat. Some could only provide food for their children once a day.
The goal of “Alianza de Amor” was not only providing much needed food, for people but also sharing the essential spiritual food of life - the gospel. Each bag contained Christian literature and many beneficiaries demanded a bible. Through this outreach, many wanted contact information for a local church!
In June the project began an online bible study every Sunday. When the project started in April, we had no idea how long the project would take and if the funds would last. But our awesome God provided what was needed week after week even we already announced the last delivery.
Now, five months after the end of the lock down almost all the refugees have found at least some kind of work. With the immediate crisis averted, and Christmas coming, food deliveries have stopped, but the online bible studies continue and as well as connecting Venezuelan refugees with local churches.
Even through a crisis we can see God working in the hearts of many Venezuelan refugees. Our prayer is that many trust in Christ and a lasting spiritual home in local churches
This project is now completed. However, to support other COVID-19 needs go to www.sim.ca/emergency
COVID-19 Emergency Relief - PROJECT: PE 91155
Peru is in a state of emergency because of COVID-19. A quarantine of all non-essential workers makes it difficult for people, especially Venezuelan refugees who make their living selling on the streets, to obtain food and shelter. By meeting physical needs, the prayer is that they will be open to spiritual truths.