Happy 1st of July! We are officially halfway through 2020 - 6 months of the year down, 6 months to go. What a strange year it has been so far. We certainly couldn’t have imagined what the world would be like when 2020 began back in January. Covid-19 has shaped our lives and changed our normal. Although there is much to mourn over and be concerned about, there is also lots to praise God for as we look back. As Christians, we can and should ‘give thanks in all circumstances’. These amazing verses from Psalm 111 remind us of the incredible character and actions of our Lord:

"Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures for ever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant for ever."
(Psalm 111:2-5)

With that in mind, we thought this would be the perfect time to bring to you a review of our year so far, in photos. It’s a visual tour of what WorldShare has been involved in and what you, as WorldShare supporters, have contributed to through your faithful prayers and your generous giving. And it’s also a declaration of praise to our wonderful Lord, showcasing how He has been powerfully at work in all corners of the world, bringing hope and transforming communities. So, without further ado, here are 5 of our favourite photos from the year so far…

1. Moise’s miraculous story

HEAL Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Moise - HEAL Africa

You might remember our HEAL Africa appeal which launched in January and which featured the hospital’s Mercy Fund and chaplaincy programme. As we were collating information and testimonies to be used, we were blown away by the story of young Moise. After a wall of volcanic rocks fell on him, he was left with bones sticking out of his leg and foot in several places. Because his mother couldn’t afford to get him seen to at local hospitals, he was left in this condition for over a week, until he arrived at the HEAL Africa hospital. Moise’s medical bill was completely covered by the hospital’s Mercy Fund and he was treated by specialists in orthopedic surgery! This brilliant photo shows him well on his way to making a full recovery. You, our supporters, must have been inspired by his story too, because you managed to raise a total of £15,000 for HEAL Africa! We praise God for using our ministry partners to bring physical and spiritual healing to many.

2. Breaking the barriers of exploitation

JKPS, India

JKPS Dance, small

In an effort to highlight the serious problems of trafficking and violence against women in India, our ministry partner, JKPS, came up with a unique idea. Girls, who are victims themselves and who live at JKPS' rescue and restoration centres (Mahima Homes), put on a compelling dance drama performance that they had been practicing for months. The story unfolded in an hour-long spectacle that captivated the packed auditorium and kept people glued to their seats! This stunning snap is one of many from the evening – you can see more photos and read about the event in more detail on pages 8-9 of Issue 2020/1 Window Magazine. Here at WorldShare, we are always amazed to see the creative ways our ministry partners are challenging injustice and giving people a taste of the redemptive work of our Saviour Jesus.

3. Healing hurting hearts

Beginning of Life, Moldova

BOL Child

Here’s an as-yet-unseen image for you! It was one of the photos sent to us recently by our ministry partner Beginning of Life, along with their 2019 annual report. We just love this boy’s cheeky face and the way his mother is lovingly looking at him. Together, these two attend Beginning of Life’s Early Learning Centre, where mums who come from abusive homes or are divorced or abandoned can learn how to relate to and look after their children. The programme covers a range of areas from child first aid, to dealing with emotions (of both mother and child), to the importance of teaching children about Jesus from an early age. We really feel like this photo has beautiful connotations – that the Lord is using Beginning of Life to the heal hurting hearts of many women and children.

4. Sewing for freedom

ChrisFon, Pakistan

ChrisFon Sewing classes, small

Bonded labour is the most common form of modern-day slavery where people are forced to work in order to pay off debt. Labourers often inherit debt from their families and are exploited and enslaved for years. In Pakistan, many brick kiln workers and their families have worked for generations as bonded labourers. Our ministry partner, ChrisFon, has a multi-pronged approach to ministry which brings hope and dignity to those who are struggling. This lovely photo showcases one of their transformative programmes. By providing sewing machines and running stitching classes for women, ChrisFon creates income generation opportunities which are profitable and sustainable. The women are learning to create beautiful clothing, not only for themselves and their family, but also to sell. We are amazed at the progress these women are making and the ways in which ChrisFon are there to help them every step of the way. Keep your eyes peeled for stories and more amazing photos which we plan to release as part of an appeal later in the year!

5. Shipping supplies, literally

Evangelical Mission for Assistance to Fishermen, Brazil

EMAF Boat of food parcels

As you may well have heard in the news this week, Brazil is continuing to be very badly hit by Covid-19. It is currently the second worst affected country in the world, with fatalities above 50,000, and there is no sign that this number has peaked yet. This incredible photo was sent to us by our ministry partner EMAF, who reaches out to remote fishing villages in Eastern Brazil by providing practical care alongside preaching the Gospel. Their work has recently involved distributing food parcels of essential items to those who are struggling to makes ends meet due to Covid-19 restrictions. These riverside communities are only accessible by boat, which means that the parcels must be transported… by boat! We are in awe at the lengths EMAF is going to serve the vulnerable and we thank God that they are there to bring relief to those who so urgently need it.

By Emily Hobbs, who is WorldShare’s Marketing Communications Assistant.