How Love Thrives through Pandemic: Global Impact of IDEAS Projects

May 11, 2021 9:35:04 AM Sarah Rymer

Although the pandemic outlook in the U.S. is optimistic as restrictions are rapidly loosening, many parts of the world remain in crisis.

How Love Thrives

In many countries where IDEAS professionals work, Covid infections and deaths have been spiking in the last few weeks, such as Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Bangladesh, and Thailand. India is in crisis with over 400,000 new cases a day, and thousands of people are dying daily in Brazil. Most countries in the world are unable to secure access to the Covid vaccine and may not be able to vaccinate most of their populations until 2023.

In the midst of pandemic, love is thriving. Opportunities have increased for IDEAS projects to demonstrate love to those who are overlooked and forgotten:

  • IDEAS medical professionals in South Asia continue to provide primary healthcare to surrounding areas, including treating Covid cases.
  • IDEAS education professionals teach online for schools in Asia and the Middle East.
  • An IDEAS agriculture project in East Asia has begun a small-scale trial testing of farmers’ soil to optimize crop production, to aid in the diagnosis of plant problems, and to help improve the nutritional balance.
  • An IDEAS partnering project in North Africa has delivered 2,000+ food parcels, baby supplies, and household products during lockdowns.

A church community in Cyprus partners with an IDEAS project that serves refugees. This community shares how, while living in lockdown due to the pandemic, they are learning to give and to receive love:

“Those seeking asylum and refuge, who find their way to our community are mainly younger people. It’s a joy to have them with us. During lockdowns, a small team telephoned others to keep in touch. Joe, a young African man, was on the receiving end of one of those calls. 

One day, Joe called me. ‘What can I do for you?’ I asked. Joe replied, ‘I’m phoning to see how you are, Ma’am.’ I was deeply touched, and humbled too, by his care.

Claire, a young African woman, speaks of how she experiences God as ‘active and close, every day’, despite the fact that life for her is on hold as she awaits her first immigration interview. Although unwell during the recent lockdown, her thoughts were with our church community. She texted me with these words: ‘I’m praying for you as well as for our church community.’

It’s a privilege to walk alongside Claire, Joe, and others who are forced to seek asylum here. Our community gives thanks for them, for the faith, energy, and joy they bring to us and share with us. And we give thanks too, that through them we experience and show agape love – the sacrificial, unconditional love of all humanity." 

As the world continues to heal, may we all find opportunities to demonstrate love more profoundly in the months and years to come.


About the Author: Scott is the IDEAS Director of Project Operations for Asia and IDEAS Crisis Response Team Leader. Enjoy other posts by Scott, such as Cross-Cultural COVID: Working Internationally in a Global Pandemic.


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