Viva’s Latin America and Caribbean Director, Carmen Alvarez has these encouraging words for our partner networks:
Let me first thank you for your commitment to the partner network in your country, we know that we face difficult times and that the pandemic has brought uncertainty, frustration, sadness and in the worst cases, depression. The world has changed and we too are changing. Our life is changing, family and society they are also changing, and the ministerial life of the partner networks is changing.
There are many unanswered questions at this time, but something we are sure of: this is the moment to be present. Partner networks have been making an extraordinary effort to be present in the midst of this pandemic and continue to bring comfort and humanitarian aid to thousands of children in the region. This would not have been possible without your support, without your accompaniment and without being present.
You can be present guiding, advising, accompanying, praying, proposing, planning, seeking resources with contacts to bring humanitarian aid – there are many ways to be present, find yours. We are thankful for the boards of directors because we know they are there, holding our arms when they’re about to fall. God bring peace and wisdom in these times of transition and reflection.
May this ministry with and in favor of children bring a message of hope to the thousands of families, children and adolescents in this moment that we need more than ever to be family.
Remember: “There is a better foundation for our feet: a Rock that is safe, rather than the sand of probabilities. “
GOVERNANCE VALUES DURING THE TIMES OF CHANGE
COVID-19 has brought challenges that must be faced with conviction, determination and value.
• Humility: Humbly examine your possible biases, influences, pressures, and the strengths and weaknesses of your church that could have a negative effect on your ability to make wise decisions.
• Love: follow the Biblical call to convey to your neighbour (Mark 12:31) in the ways and times we reopen churches and ministries in person, so that our actions help and do not inadvertently cause harm.
• Persistence: mentally approach the process reopening and help your church navigate COVID-19 as a “marathon”, not a “sprint”, taking into account a long-term vision (for example, the Scriptures speak of finishing the race, not being the first to finish).
• Wisdom: Stay updated to disseminate information and scientific findings on COVID-19, track the number of local cases. Take advice.
Latin America’s COVID-19 response
In the last month, Viva’s Latin America Networks have been:
- Mapping needs of children to shape next response
- Supporting partner networks to improve scores in Viva’s sustainability benchmark
- More partner networks beginning to run the phone mentoring programme
- Working with the Evangelical Alliance on supporting churches to re-open their buildings
- Tools: trying to focus on education on the radio and home schooling
- Fundraising initiatives including through USA Life Church and others for emergency response including food relief and health supplies
- Community Centre mobilization of resources thinking in sustainability
- Government meetings in some countries to find solutions together- City-wide influence
- Strengthen churches work to share the gospel and backing to the vision of Network-Heart of Viva.
For more Latin America specific updates and prayer requests please see the latest network updates here: https://www.viva.org/viva-partner-network-updates-27th-july-2020/
Thank you for your ongoing prayer and support as Viva works to change more children’s lives more effectively