COVID-19 Updates: Equipping Churches to Respond Around the World

– Stay updated on information related to our international response to the coronavirus outbreak.

– Listen and learn more about our response to the COVID-19 outbreak from previous podcast episodes: Hope in Cremona, Italy, Central Park Emergency Field Hospital, and Fighting Fear; Devotions with Edward Graham.

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Show Notes

Kristy Graham takes listeners inside the Samaritan’s Purse affiliate offices as she interviews Darren Tosh of Samaritan’s Purse United Kingdom and Sylke Busenbender of Samaritan’s Purse Germany. Samaritan’s Purse currently has four international affiliate offices—Canada, Germany, Australia, and the UK—with a 5th office opening in South Korea this year.

Every single Samaritan’s Purse location is responding to the coronavirus—uniting the global ministry in our fight against the deadly virus. Our affiliate offices have launched new efforts and adapted projects to support people who are suffering during this global pandemic. In fact, the coronavirus opened the door for the German office to respond in their home country for the first time. This was an answer to prayer as they were searching for an opportunity to serve their neighbors.

The episode begins with Sylke Busenbender, executive director of Samaritan’s Purse Germany, reading from 1 John 4:18-19, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out all fear, because fear involves torment, but he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”

Kristy transitions to an interview with her first guest, Darren Tosh, the executive director of Samaritan’s Purse United Kingdom. Darren shares about his history with the ministry and how his experiences have shaped his current role. He also explains how Samaritan’s Purse United Kingdom is working alongside the local church to bring immediate relief to families impacted by COVID-19.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, the United Kingdom was unsure of how to get additional personal protective equipment (PPE) in country. Samaritan’s Purse UK collaborated with our supply chain management teams to provide these resources to local churches. Kristy Graham and Darren Tosh reflect on the ways God positioned Samaritan’s Purse with a platform to provide critical care and share the gospel during the global pandemic.

“We recognized the real opportunity to be able to bless the church with PPE, to get out and minister. This was an unprecedented time to share the love of Jesus on a really practical level in the UK.” —Darren Tosh

Samaritan’s Purse UK organized and created health kits to more strategically distribute PPE supplies to local churches. They turned their Operation Christmas Child processing center into a warehouse to assemble and distribute hundreds of kits. The United Kingdom-based affiliate office has distributed kits to nearly 500 communities—standing with the local church as they met the needs of families impacted by the deadly outbreak. The UK office is also aiding local churches through small grants and food shelters.

“The church never closes. With Jesus in you, we are to be His hands and feet, and so I love the way you took the church out of the walls into the communities in a time where people are so desperate for hope and a light.” —Kristy Graham

Kristy reflects on 50 years of Samaritan’s Purse—reminding listeners of our mission to support the local church in every area we are working. We are continuing to work in partnership with local churches around the world as we bring hope and share the gospel amidst this global pandemic.

Samaritan’s Purse Canada distributed community preparedness kits to vulnerable and remote communities. These kits include hospital-grade disinfectant, spray bottles, gloves, and Bibles. One recipient said, “They are a gift from God. They came at just the right time.”

The episode transitions to an interview between podcast team member Kaitlyn Lahm and the executive director of Samaritan’s Purse Germany, Sylke Busenbender. Samaritan’s Purse Germany is working in partnership with local churches to bring critical care to communities impacted by the global pandemic. Kaitlyn and Sylke discuss the programming elements that Samaritan’s Purse Germany has implemented in response to the deadly outbreak.

Next, Kristy shares a summary of the work Samaritan’s Purse Australia has in place to combat the coronavirus. Samaritan’s Purse Australia has partnered with 20 churches to bring physical help to vulnerable people. The office is working with these churches to provide food kits to families in need.

The episode concludes with specific prayer requests from our affiliate offices.

“What I’m praying for the office is ‘Lord, make us a blessing for others.’”—Sylke Busenbender

Please continue to pray for God’s favor and protection as our affiliate offices partner with local churches and serve in Jesus’ Name—reminding families they are not alone or forgotten.

"Our donor ministry team started reaching out to our donors and asking them how we can pray from them. It was good to be able to say to our supporters, 'Our whole team is praying every morning for your situation and what you're going through.'" —Sylke Busenbender, "COVID-19 Updates: Equipping Churches to Respond Around the World"
“Our donor ministry team started reaching out to our donors and asking them how we can pray from them. It was good to be able to say to our supporters, ‘Our whole team is praying every morning for your situation and what you’re going through.'” —Sylke Busenbender, “COVID-19 Updates: Equipping Churches to Respond Around the World”

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