ICM’s work in the communities would not be possible without the help of our frontliners in this pandemic — our staff and pastor network. Many of them found themselves at the forefront of this crisis, wearing multiple hats to bring help to the poorest of the poor. Here are just a few of the stories that brought us encouragement and hope in this crisis.
From trainer to COVID relief worker
Jay-ar is one of ICM’s drivers and trainers. When the pandemic hit, he suddenly found himself on the frontlines, delivering food to communities as part of ICM’s Rapid Emergency and Disaster Intervention (REDI) network. Through the REDI system, pastors from remote areas in Visayas and Mindanao can send text or social media messages to ICM and request help for their communities. Aside from the constant threat of the virus, Jay-ar had to struggle with preparing the food packs as early as 1:00 a.m., undergoing strict inspection at the borders, and distributing the relief goods to the communities. The new work had its challenges, but he valued the work he did for the ultra-poor.
“The food packs and other supplies are very helpful because not everyone received relief goods from the local government, especially those who sell plastic bottles, cans, and other scrap materials to junk shops for a living.”
Pastor delivers food for the hungry
Pastor Phoebe’s small community was greatly affected when the quarantine was announced. Since many of them made money as street vendors, the lockdown meant a sudden loss of income and hunger for their families. Moved by the plight of her community, Pastor Phoebe decided to ask for help from ICM. We responded by delivering boxes of nutrient-rich food packs, soap, and seeds that Pastor Phoebe distributed house-to-house to more than 150 individuals. The distribution took two weeks, but Pastor Phoebe was more than happy to help and very grateful to our donors.
“I praise the Lord that you answered God’s call to support and provide for the needs of the people during the pandemic. You are an answered prayer to us. God bless your hearts!”
Thrive Pastor turned healthcare worker
Pastor Michael is part of ICM’s Thrive pastor network. He has also been part of his community’s Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council Team for the past five years. During the pandemic, he was given additional tasks as a healthcare worker. He prepared and served meals three times a day to those in isolation, and even helped out with burials. Pastor Michael has a high-risk job, especially since he has a family, but he believes in always giving one hundred percent.
“Every Christian should be a frontliner, even without the pandemic. When someone needs our help, we should always give our best.”
Hunger and sickness are just some of the many battles the ultra-poor face during this pandemic. But out of these difficulties, we have also seen an inspiring display of courage, generosity, and compassion. ICM staff and partners make our work possible. Thank you for persevering with us as we bring hope to the ultra-poor!