By Debi Axford, Bangla Hope U.S. Office Director
I write this update on Bangla Hope as I sit at my dining room table. The Bangla Hope US team has been working remotely for nearly two weeks now. Washington State has a “Stay at home” order from our governor. However, we began working from home a bit before that in an effort to prevent our founders Dave and Beverly Waid from being exposed to the virus. For those of you who are not aware, the US Bangla Hope headquarters office is located in a portion of the Waids’ home.
Many of our supporters have contacted our office with questions and concerns regarding how the ministry, Children’s Home and Village Schools are faring during this unsettling time. This message is our way of updating our supporters as to how Bangla Hope has been impacted, and what we are doing to manage the situation both in Bangladesh and in the US.
As I write this, none of our children, youth or staff have been infected with the Corona virus (as far as we know). However, in Bangladesh, all schools have been closed for some time, so all our 164 children and youth are home on the Bangla Hope campus. As you may know, we have had four student missionaries this year helping with teaching and other duties on our campus. At the onset of this pandemic, we only had two SMs remaining with us, and they have now returned home to the US earlier than planned. Our Executive Director, Robyn Griffin, who is currently in Bangladesh, will return to the US in early May as previously planned.
Our fundraising efforts have most certainly been negatively impacted by this pandemic. Our primary method of informing others about our work is to participate in camp meetings, ASI conferences and church services, all of which are now on hold. Every month we have the responsibility of support for our 164 children and youth at our Children’s Home campus, 155 boarding school students and 505 Village School students whose tuition is provided by our ministry. Finally, there are nearly 80 staff members, most of whom serve our ministry in Bangladesh and whose incomes are supplied by Bangla Hope. However, we rest confidently knowing we are in the care of our Heavenly Father.
We would appreciate your prayers for our children, youth, and staff. The Bangla Hope team would like to thank you for your faithful support over the years. You have truly been partners with us as we do the work God has called us to do in Bangladesh. Thank you, and may God bless you.