In Lebanon in April 2020, goats are distributed by staff (names not used for security reasons) of MCC partner Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training.MCC photo/Olivia Osley

I love the photo above, from the cover story, A worldwide impact, a global response, of goat distribution by MCC’s partner Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training. You might ask, “Why are goats important in the middle of a pandemic?”

It’s because we know that this pandemic is not only a health crisis. Of course with two million [as of this writing] deaths worldwide, the deadly impact of COVID-19 is real and tragic. But it does not stop there.

Close behind the death toll from the virus comes increased poverty, hunger and many mental health traumas associated with lockdown.

Other impacts include:

  • Schools close or children cannot attend. Many girls will never return.
  • With economies flat, many families lose their livelihoods.
  • Unable to buy inputs or take harvests to market, farmers watch their incomes plummet.

As the stories in this issue remind us, MCC was well positioned with water, sanitation and hygiene projects and other health-care interventions to prevent the spread of the virus.

I am also deeply grateful that we can respond to the ripple effects of the pandemic with our agriculture, livelihoods, education and peacebuilding work. These projects, including the distribution of goats, are a significant help for the vulnerable communities further destabilized by the pandemic.

And I am grateful that supporters like you did not retreat in the face of COVID-19, but instead rode your bike, baked doughnuts or bought quilts online, all to share a response of hope (See story, Ingenuity at work)!

MCC is strong and well placed to begin a second century of sharing God’s love for all in the name of Christ. As you will see in the following pages, MCC has mounted a robust and diverse response to pandemic tragedy ranging from latrines to goats. And you loyal and generous MCC supporters; you pray, you serve, and many of you even thank us when we invite you to give!

For your part in this remarkable Jesus-following ministry, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude. Thanks be to God.

Rick Cober Bauman

MCC Canada executive director


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