When the coronavirus pandemic hit, many people in the Dominican Republic worried if they would have enough food for themselves and their families. Young people who are part of Resonate Global Mission partner IMPACT clubs stepped up to help.
To start, when COVID-19 hit the Domincan Republic, the Christian Reformed Church in the Dominican Republic took action. Many people throughout the country struggle to afford food on a daily basis. Some people are unable to work due to health concerns, and some people cannot find work. With the spread of COVID-19, putting food on the table and providing for other needs became even more difficult.
“We heard about COVID-19 from a used clothes seller who came here, and we thought it was a simple flu—but very quickly we found out that the government was closing down the country, and that started to worry us, since we are very isolated already,” said Rafael, who lives in a rural town in the Dominican Republic.
Rafael lost his sight due to an infection three years ago. He said many people in his community are elderly like him and unable to work. Living miles away from the nearest highway—with roads full of potholes in between—Rafel worried whether he, his family, and his neighbors would have enough food.
But Resonate was able to provide more than $7,000 in COVID-19 relief to the Christian Reformed Church in the Dominican Republic to purchase food for communities of people who are most vulnerable. World Renew and another church denomination in the United States also gave funds.
Resonate missionary Steve Brauning worked with Saturnino Perez, IMPACT director in the Dominican Republic, to ensure the food purchased would reach individuals, families, and communities who were most in need. And this meant they needed people to distribute the food.
That’s when youth who participate in IMPACT clubs stepped in.
A Resonate initiative, IMPACT clubs equip and empower children and teenagers to be servant leaders in their communities. Young people learn how to identify and solve problems using resources that are already available to them. IMPACT clubs shape young leaders who are passionate about serving their neighbors.
“The IMPACT club members and leaders became the volunteer team that carried out the work in many communities,” said Steve. “[They] went house by house to deliver food to families. It is one of most important ways that the IMPACT clubs develop leadership—through service.”
Rafael said the young people coming with food was an answer to prayer.
“I thank God that you brought food and I know that it was from God,” said Rafael. “These days our village is low on food and we have been praying, asking God to help us.”