Around the world, there are many communities that need help. The coronavirus pandemic has only made things worse. Mission work has become even more important today when much of the world is ravaged by disease, unemployment, and economic disruption. The caring influence of missionaries is needed around the world, especially in developing countries like Haiti.
Haiti has yet to recover from the devastating earthquake of 2010. Today, many people are still living in shelters with little to no access to clean water or nutritious food. The coronavirus pandemic has only made things worse. Mission groups like Elevating Christian Ministries, founded by James Cammilleri and his wife Sarah, are badly needed to help people survive as well as creating sustainable economic opportunities.
The Global Need for Mission Work
Missionaries are spiritually moved to help others in disadvantaged areas. Their mission is to show others the love of their Creator while helping them with the difficult circumstances of their lives. It is possible to build a strong bond with the community in which a missionary works. This bond is part of what makes missionary work so special.
The most important aspect of a missionary program is that the changes it makes to the local community are sustainable after the missionaries have gone home. Too often, missionary projects neglect this consideration, and initiatives they once spearheaded come to an end after they have left. This can happen because a project was imposed from outside rather than being planned in concord with community leaders. Fulfilling a need that is established by the community is much more helpful than coming in blind and setting up a program based on the missionaries’ perception of what the community needs.
How COVID-19 Has Affected Developing Countries and Missionary Work
Sadly, many foreign missionaries have had to return home due to the devastating effects of COVID-19. Global travel restrictions have been in place, and many foreign missionaries have been asked to leave the countries in which they work. This means that many disadvantaged communities have been left without the help and support of missionaries, which is often badly needed when communities are in crisis.
While developed countries like the United States have experienced punishingly high rates of illness and death, the COVID pandemic has had an even worse effect on developing countries. It is unlikely that vaccines will reach these countries at any time in the immediate future, meaning that these countries will continue to suffer from the virus for far longer than anywhere else in the world.
Other Global Needs
COVID is not the only problem affecting the world today. Many areas around the world are affected by a lack of clean water. Missionary groups have been instrumental in setting up wells and hygiene facilities in these communities. Many areas have also experienced outbreaks of diseases that are not related to COVID.
A lack of education is another issue affecting the developing world. Missionaries who are trained teachers are in demand around the world. They are able to impart their religious message along with the knowledge that their students need to succeed.
Elevating Christian Ministries
James Cammilleri and his wife Sarah were moved to establish Elevating Christian Ministries (ECM) when they considered the plight of the Haitian people. Much of Haiti still suffers from hunger, and many schools were unable to provide food for their children. The program stepped in and began providing bread, eggs, and other foods to schools in need.
ECM also supports the building of local businesses making and selling various types of food. They train local workers to run the businesses so that they will be sustainable in the future.
Creating Sustainable Initiatives
As mentioned above, creating sustainable initiatives like those spearheaded by ECM is one of the most important considerations for missionary groups. If the projects cannot continue after the missionaries have moved on, they have very little value for the community as a whole.
Teaching local community members to operate the mission is key. There must be a sense of trust between the missionaries and the community they are trying to help. A bond of love and kindness can be built between the missionaries and their community, and this bond helps to strengthen the mission.
Committing to Mission Work
People who are called to mission work may be able to return to the field in 2021, as long as the global case count of COVID-19 begins to slow. Vaccinated mission workers may be able to travel before others. Gradually, borders around the world are beginning to reopen, allowing missionaries to return to their life-saving work.
If you are called to a mission, it is a good idea to look for specific programs that match up with your interests. If you are interested in feeding the hungry in Haiti and creating sustainable economic initiatives, you may want to join or donate to ECM. James Cammilleri wants to encourage young and old alike to search their hearts and discover whether they are called to be missionaries