Venezuela is experiencing a mass shortage of food, medicine, fuel and jobs.
With the highest inflation rates in the world, the situation in South America seems to only get worse with time.
“To be honest, we don’t see a way out—not politically, socially or economically,” said David Silva, Director of Misison and Evangelism for the National Baptist Convention of Venezuela. “But we know God is still with us, and that’s what keeps us moving forward. Many congregations have lost their pastors to migration, but the churches have carried on. Every strategy we use to reach others with the gospel is fueled by our partnership with Send Relief.”
Send Relief is providing wrap-around services to families who are fleeing, as well as those who feel called to stay.
One project that is empowering families to make a livable wage focuses on training local Venezuelan refugees to establish their own homemade bread microbusinesses, helping to not only feed their own families but also sell their baked goods to the community for a small profit.
One bread store established through this project now makes custom bread orders for local Baptist churches and provides free baked goods to children’s ministries on Sundays to ensure that refugee children are guaranteed at least one meal that day. Many new families have joined churches as a result!
One single mother with two children heard by word-of-mouth that a Baptist church in her area was giving free bread to children that attended Sunday school, so she started bringing them to church every Sunday. Overburdened by the hardships of life and poverty, she normally arrives to church exhausted, rarely smiling or talking with anyone. From the beginning, it was clear she was only there to feed her children.
But one day, the church organized and hosted a family fun day at the park, and this same small family decided to attend along with the rest of the church. The very next Sunday, they showed up early to church, and the mother had a wide smile on her face for the very first time!
What started as obligatory attendance out of necessity for food led to a strong and lasting relationship with the church and the Bread of Life.
Your generosity is what makes projects like these possible! Thank you for caring for “the least of these”—you are leaving a lasting legacy in communities in need.
Published December 3, 2021