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An Endemic Spread of Ebola

Rachel Chimits
June 20, 2019

World Challenge partners in Sub-Saharan Africa are faced with another outbreak of one of the worst diseases in modern history.

This June, the first Ebola deaths occurred in Uganda.

The infections in Uganda confirmed that the deadly outbreak has spread for the first time beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Border towns in Kenya are on high alert, as health officials are forced to contemplate the possibility of Ebola passing over the Uganda border and spreading among Kenyans who have already been hit by one of the worst famines in years. 

Working in the Graveyards

Rachel Chimits
June 19, 2019

Bangladesh’s most impoverished and discriminated-against group is slowly opening up to outsiders and the good news of Jesus Christ.

Aatmaja waits by the gates, wreathed in the scents of smoldering camphor and incense, burning bamboo and bodies.

The cremation grounds are filled with pyres, feet often poking out with the big toes tied together. Families gather around the hottest burning ones, chanting matras that will hopefully help their loved one achieve “moksha,” freedom from the endless cycle of death and rebirth.

Another family enters the grounds, carrying a body on poles, everyone careful not to touch it. That’s Aatmaja’s job, that and tending the pyres, because she has no caste status or purity to lose.

She’s a Dom, the lowest strata of the untouchable caste “Dalits.”

Believers Banding Together

Rachel Chimits
June 18, 2019

As natural disaster hits Kenya, the local church is reaching out to bring a saving message and much-needed supplies to the hardest hit communities.

Famine has hit Sub-Saharan Africa.

In Kenya alone, about one million people are facing starvation. Cattle and other livestock are dropping out on the arid fields where drought and locusts have cleared away all but the thorniest plants. 

Returning Home

Anna Kozlyuk
May 20, 2019

Many young, educated Albanians leave their homeland in search of a better life, and Vera intended to be no different until she met God.

Mynevere Saliu, more often called Vera by friends and family, was born into a Muslim Roma family in the city Peqin. 

Even though she had been raised to respect Islamic traditions, Vera didn’t really believe in Allah. When she was able to finally leave for university, she couldn’t wait. She met up with a close friend there, but suddenly her friend started talking about Jesus. All this “religious talk” chafed Vera.

“I even told her, ‘You’re stupid to believe in a God you have never seen.’” Vera remembered. “But she wouldn’t stop talking about Jesus until one day when I finally told her, ‘If you like my company, stop talking to me about this Christ.'”

Holy Healing in the Dominican Republic

Rachel Chimits
June 10, 2019

Local leaders and medical students are working to more effectively spread the gospel to rural communities.

Over a decade ago, Tom and Nancy Hinton founded Barnabas Task to help address many of the medical needs in Central American communities, but they had a larger vision for these health clinics.

They focused on evangelism and leadership training for locals who were becoming involved in the work. Only a change in people’s hearts could bring the community-wide change many of these volunteers passionately wanted to see.

As leaders naturally sprang up, Tom and Nancy began handing more and more of the ministry responsibilities over to the local team, until the ministry in the Dominican Republic was entirely run by people living in the communities where they were serving.

Ebola Outbreak in the Congo

Rachel Chimits
May 23, 2019

Government organizations and churches are working side-by-side to help save people from one of the world’s deadliest diseases.

The current Ebola outbreak in the Congo is quickly becoming one of the deadliest in history, second only to the 2014 to 2016 epidemic that raged across West African, killing more than 11,300 people.

On April 30th of last year, several cases of Ebola were confirmed in the city of Mabalako. By October, the disease was swiftly beginning to spread to other major north-eastern cities. Doctors and other health professionals worked furiously to contain this budding epidemic, and for a while, it looked like they may have succeeded.

However, a surge of new cases turned up this March, hitting all of the previous hotbed areas once more.

Protecting Mothers and the Unborn

Rachel Chimits
May 22, 2019

In the Philippines, church workers are helping educate pregnant women about how to keep themselves and their babies healthy.

Pregnancy usually means extra doctor visits to make sure the mother and baby stay healthy.

Some women, however, don’t have this option because either they live in a remote village or it’s not traditional practice. They often don’t realize the many health benefits that preventative care can offer both them and their child.

In the Philippines, World Challenge partners have begun offering “mothers’ classes” for pregnant women in rural or poorer areas. 

Seeing Blessings in Guatemala

Rachel Chimits
May 28, 2019

World Challenge partners help widows in Latin America receive back their sight. 

Rosa feels along the brick wall of her kitchen. Only the size of a living room in many Americans’ houses, her home is simple and clean. At least, she hopes it’s clean. She’s swept like always, bumping the broom between the table and chairs’ legs.

Something clatters cross the floor, and she pauses, trying to squint through grainy gloom at whatever’s fallen.

She squats and extends her hands, feeling lumps and realizes they are the plantains she purchased in the market yesterday.

Mercy in the Slum

Rachel Chimits
May 29, 2019

In Kenya’s grittiest and most impoverished sector, God is bringing incredible change to people’s hearts and lives.

As the sun rises on the eastern part of Kenya’s capital, it brings to light one of the world largest slums: Mathare.

The third largest in Africa, this slum is home to some 500,000 people scraping together a living in grinding poverty.

Despite an initiative by Kenya’s government to provide the slums with better sanitation, a single toilet in Mathare may be shared by as few as 70 people or as many as several hundred. Hygiene is an issue, to say the least.

Darkness on Peru’s Emerald Mountains

Rachel Chimits
May 24, 2019

Major challenges are facing the church in Peru as they look for ways to serve their society’s most vulnerable. 

This spring, Director of Mercy Ministries Mark Buzzetta traveled to Cusco, Peru to connect with a local church doing great work caring for widows.

The trip was eye-opening to Peru’s great natural beauty and local struggles, coming almost as often from floods of global tourists to their region as well as stifling animist traditions.

A Booming Economy Downside

The Chicago Tribune pointed out the sad state of Peru’s massive tourist attraction, Machu Picchu, and by connection, Cusco.