After the COVID-19 pandemic caused a drop in mainland U.S. churches' giving to Haiti as it still recovers from 2017’s Hurricane Maria, a food shortage struck the nation’s orphanages – until one Puerto Rican church picked up the slack.
Recognizing the orphans’ dire need, Iglesia Cristiana Vida Pastor Rolando Cruz applied to Mission Match – a project headed by “empty tomb, inc.”
"The situation in Haiti is difficult since the actual pandemic,” Cruz wrote to Mission Match, according to a press release issued by empty tomb. “Churches in the states stopped sending their monthly contributions ... We need to help them because now they are rationing food to stretch the food supply."
An even bigger blessing …
Cruz – whose church based in Ponce, Puerto Rico, has been helping a Haitian orphanage since 2011 – was excited to find that his flock’s continued and increased faithfulness was blessed more than he had hoped for.
"At first, we were hoping to raise one thousand [dollars to be matched], but the response was so huge – and that was a faith booster,” the pastor shared. “We did not expect people to give so much with a pandemic going on. We experienced Ephesians 3:20 again and again."
He was referring to Scripture written by the Apostle Paul to the Church in Ephesus, which reads, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power, that is at work within us, to him be the glory …” –Eph. 3:20–21a (NIV).
In line with Scripture, God blessed not just one, but several orphanages in Haiti … with an abundance – for months.
“The church applied for a $3,000 Mission Match Matching Contribution, and raised more than that amount,” the release announced. “With $3,000 raised through the congregation's efforts – combined with the $3,000 Matching Contribution – eight orphanages in the OEIDIH (International Evangelical Organization for Integral Development of Haiti) network received food and food preparation supplies to last each of them for two months.”
A representative at one of the Haitian orphanages shared his testimony of how he was desperately searching for ways to feed the orphans the day their food ran out – the exact same day the supplies from the church and project miraculously showed up.
The same Mission Match Matching Contribution project to which Cruz’ church participated is now available for up to 10 more congregations to apply – anywhere from $500 to $3,000. Its focus is to minimize the rate of mortality for children under the age of five in 40 countries, and the application asks churches how their missions help decrease one of the 22 causes of death in these populations.