World Challenge’s Response to COVID-19 | World Challenge

World Challenge’s Response to COVID-19

World Challenge Staff
April 28, 2020

Even in the middle of the lockdown, we want to be a blessing to those who have been hurt by this crisis.

World Challenge’s board, in partnership with Times Square Church, has recognized a need for the continued support of ministries responding to the coronavirus pandemic as well as its many side effects.

We have allocated $300,000 to Samaritan’s Purse to operate a field hospital in New York City for a week. On April 1, Samaritan's Purse opened a 68-bed Emergency Field Hospital in Central Park to provide critical care for people seriously ill with the coronavirus.

Conflict has arisen among secular groups over Samaritan’s Purse’s religious values and their founder’s stance on LGBTQ issues, and some protests have been attempted, but other individuals are impressed. One local volunteer publicly shared his perspective and defense for the group, “It’s an incredibly impressive organization. I have no doubt they are delivering world-class critical care to my fellow New Yorkers stricken with COVID-19.”

Since they arrived in New York, a 72-member Disaster Assistance Response Team—including doctors, nurses and other healthcare specialists—has been on the ground working around the clock to save lives.

Offering a Safe Shelter

While the quarantine measures taken were intended to protect our vulnerable populations and slow disease transmission, they also had some unexpected social repercussions.

Many major US cities’ law enforcement are reporting over a 20 percent rise in domestic abuse cases, and those are just the ones who are able and willing to call in. A recent article in The Hill reported, “Experts who study domestic violence say the increases, however, are almost certainly underreported because some victims cannot get away from their abusers to call police.”

The United States is certainly not the only country struggling with this issue. Another news source stated, “According to an April 6 report by the United Nations, calls to domestic violence helplines have tripled in China and doubled in Malaysia and Lebanon. In Australia, Google searches for domestic violence help is at the highest rate seen in five years.”

Pastor Claude Houde, a World Challenge board member who runs a church in Québec, noted, “Our youth center has the mission to prevent and counter delinquency, homelessness and sexual exploitation; and it is home to vulnerable young people. It has actually been designated as an essential service.”

In response to this issue worldwide, World Challenge is sending extra support to our partners and churches in countries everywhere who will often be the first responders to abusive situations where individuals cannot or will not call their local police.

We are also partnering with Times Square Church to send $100,000 to Nouvelle Vie, a ministry in Montreal that offers housing for battered women, a vital alternative to having to shelter in place with a violent partner or family member. 

Looking Forward to the Future

As the coronavirus lockdowns start to lift, though, many people have new concerns. Vast swathes of the work force have either had their jobs suspended or have been laid off, leaving many in dire financial straits.

With this in mind, we have allocated $100,000 to Feed NY, which sends additional food to 100 churches in New York to share in local communities.

Most of all, though, we trust that the future is safely in God’s hands, and we will be listening for his guidance as we move forward with helping those who have been impacted by this pandemic.

We also want to thank you for your support that has made all of this possible. Whether through prayer for us and our partners or financial gifts, you have played a vital part in helping serve others during this time of pervasive fear and uncertainty. If there is any way that we can pray for you, please reach out to us through our prayer page or our prayer line 1-833-WC-PRAYS which is open 7a.m. – 5p.m. MT. We would be honored to be able to pray for you and with you.

Together, we believe that we can all help bring the transforming power of God’s love to the world.