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In Costa Rica, ADRA and Adventist Churches Assist 600 Families During the Pandemic – Seventh-day Adventist Church


One needy family affected by the pandemic crisis receives food and hygiene kit in April, thanks to the efforts of ADRA Costa Rica and churches all across the country who adopted 600 vulnerable families providing food and hygiene kits until the end of June 2020. [Photo: ADRA Costa Rica]

June 2, 2020 | Alajuela, Costa Rica | Tomas Saez / IAD News Staff

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Costa Rica, together with Seventh-day Adventist churches across the country, have committed to assisting 600 families in need with food and hygiene kits until the end of June. The initial response came as the pandemic crisis shutdown the country in March, prompting ADRA to provide assistance for the most needy families in vulnerable communities for April and May. While social distance regulations have continued, church members stepped in to donate non-perishable foods and gathered additional funds to continue assisting those families the coming months, church leaders said.

“When the pandemic started in the country, experts calculated that the financial effects would last three months, so with the help of ADRA International, ADRA inter-America and our local ADRA office, we planned to assist families until June,” said Samuel Wiltshire, ADRA Costa Rica director. “We have a commitment to continue helping these identified families until June.”

An elderly couple in Costa Rica receives goods from an ADRA volunteer recently. [Photo: ADRA Costa Rica]

That initial ADRA response was aimed at helping 170 families, but the church stepped in to adopt 430 more families to total 600. The elderly, pregnant, disabled, single mothers, and those struggling financially were among the beneficiaries.

The assistance covered the seven provinces in the country thanks to funds donated and the coordinated efforts of the three conferences, which are made up of 250 Adventist churches.

Some 80 pastors and local church volunteers took part in seeking out the needy in the poor communities of Guapiles, Jicaras in Puntarenas, Huetar, Liberia, Perez Zeledon and Quepos, among others, and assisted in the packing and distributing of food and hygiene kits, church leaders said.

A young mother with three children are among the 600 needy families receiving assistance from ADRA Costa Rica and church members across the country. [Photo: ADRA Costa Rica]

“When I found out it was an ADRA initiative, I wanted to help and was able to pack, and distribute part of the kits,” said Johan Espinoza, an ADRA volunteer. He was impressed by how the packing warehouse was constantly disinfected and everyone had masks, gloves, alcohol and antibacterial gel. “I was able to meet so many people and talk to them about ADRA and how God guides the agency and the church to do His work.”

Jicaral in Puntarenas was among the most economically affected areas in the north of the country, and one place Pastor Javier Quiroz was able to visit and give help to dozens of families. He visited Kimberly, who lives with her mother, who is suffering with depression. “One of Kimberly’s legs was amputated because they found several tumors affecting several of her organs, so she and her mom were at a high risk during the pandemic crisis,” said Quiroz. “Thanks to God and the donations coming in, Kimberly and her family have been receiving food and hygiene kits during the past two months.”

An ADRA volunteer delivers a food basket to an elderly woman in Costa Rica recently. [Photo: ADRA Costa Rica]

President of the Caribbean Mission in Costa Rica Pastor Mario Spencer said the region was hit hard because it is mostly a tourist spot and many families have stopped being able to support themselves for months now. “Our churches came together with their own funds to help dozens of families in their communities and soon after the assistance from ADRA came in and our mission was able to add more funds to keep assisting.”

It’s not enough to help more families because food gets eaten up and hunger comes back, said Spencer. “But we thank God because we have been able to help during the first few months and we are preparing to continue to assistance in June and further on,” he said.

The church in Costa Rica is planning to collect more funds and distribute more assistance to additional families in need during the months of July and August.

A young couple in Costa Rica displays their bag of goods distributed by ADRA Costa Rica. [Photo: ADRA Costa Rica]

To learn more about the assistance provided by the church and ADRA Costa Rica, click HERE


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