Where were you on March 1, 2020?
Laci and I were in Nepal, cutting the ribbon for the dedication ceremony at the Nepal Theological College! A project completed…mission accomplished!
Builders teams were on the ground in Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and the Bahamas!
2020 was looking like a breakout year! Builders already had 45 teams scheduled and the 2020 calendar was filling up quickly.
Then…BAM! We suddenly found ourselves facing a global pandemic. All of our team travel was canceled and our scheduled projects put on hold. We were all kicked in the teeth by this thing called the Coronavirus.
After weeks of struggling through this worldwide shutdown, I found myself wondering…can you find success during a global pandemic?
Several of the scheduled teams were for the Hope for Uruguay 100 project, our newest initiative to build 100 churches throughout Uruguay. We had an assessment team scheduled for March, a vision team scheduled for April, and our friends from the New York Ministry Network were on board with funding and ready to send a team to build Church #1.
After years of preparation by Uruguayan leadership, with church planters trained and congregations meeting under packed out tents while waiting for a building…suddenly there seemed to be no path forward.
What were we to do? We had worked so hard to get to this point. No assessment trip to work with our missionaries, Steve and Jill McCarthy, for the technical planning for 100 churches, no vision team to raise the funds needed for church #2 and beyond, and no construction team for church #1.
Church #1 is in Montevideo, Uruguay. Pastor Marcelo and Virginia’s congregation has met under a tent for the past three years. Shivering during the winter months, sweltering during the summer months, and enduring soaking wet feet during the rainy season.
All the spin-up to help Pastor Marcelo and Virginia…and now the Coronavirus made it seem hopeless.
We can’t go now. Back to the drawing board…what can we do? The rest of the world has gone virtual, so why not mission teams?!
That’s when the Virtual Mission Trip was birthed. In September, Builders hosted our first-ever, truly interactive, live Virtual Mission Trip to Uruguay. A connection took place between Uruguayans, a missionary family, team members, and generous donors from all over the world during a historical event where thousands of people witnessed a life-changing project from “dirt to done” in just five days!
No more church under a tent. No more cold, wet feet during church. This grateful group of brothers and sisters were now in a brand new building!
Not only was the local community in Uruguay incredibly impacted, but unexplainable generosity has been pouring in from the virtual audience of donors who witnessed their sacrificial giving put to work. They were able to see the congregation, both young and old, work excitedly and tirelessly to construct the church in record time. What I believe made the biggest impact on our U.S. partners was their ability to lift up this group of strangers, with real-time emotional and heartfelt prayers, as they humbly approached the camera with hearts of cheerful gratitude.
Since then, miraculously, Church #2, Church #3, and Church #4 have all been funded, completed, and dedicated! Plans for Church #5 and Church #6 are underway and may be completed by the end of 2020.
Can you find success during a global pandemic? We truly believe the answer is YES!
This is a huge success for these communities in Uruguay! But this is only the beginning.
The second big dilemma was our Amazon 100 initiative. 102 churches had already been completed and we had tremendous momentum in Brazil. All remaining 2020 teams and the first seven 2021 teams scheduled to build churches along the Amazon…canceled.
Despite the fact that teams could no longer go, the Builders community knew these churches needed to be built, and they rose to the occasion! As we let people know that our missionary partner, Mark Lemos, was still in Brazil and had a strong local construction crew along with local church volunteers, donations and solid commitments began to pour in!
Update...263 Coronavirus Care Kits were funded and distributed, and three more churches have been finished and dedicated along the Amazon River since the lockdown!
Can you find success during a global pandemic? Absolutely! 2020 is also a SUCCESS in Brazil along the Amazon River!
Thanks for allowing me to share a couple of miraculous faith-building examples of how God has allowed us all to see what success can look like during a pandemic.
As we finally come to the end of 2020, we are all poised to leverage this unexpected success and momentum as we continue to build hope into 2021. We are believing with our brothers and sisters in Uruguay, the Amazon, and beyond, that the Builders Community will continue to provide hope going into an uncertain 2021.
We are counting on YOU to help us continue the success and close 2020 strong!
Will you help us build hope into 2021 as we stretch to reach our funding and operations goal of $70,000 by December 31, 2020?
You can make a current gift via any of the following three options:
- Give Online Here.
- Call the Builders International Business Office at 417-582-0003.
- Mail a check to Builders International: PO BOX 1969 | Ozark, MO | 65721.
Did you know???
Congress has approved a “Universal” Tax Credit of up to $300 for charitable donations made in 2020? What does that mean? Even if you typically do not itemize your tax deductions, you can now deduct up to $300 from your taxes!
Also, in addition to your current gift, you may also consider an end-of-year asset gift, such as gifts of:
STOCKS AND BONDS | GIFTS OF RETIREMENT ASSETS | GIFTS OF INSURANCE
To answer any questions regarding various gift options, please contact our CFO, Larry Russell, at 417-582-0003, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support and friendship!