Using the Covid Experience Last month I shared that I believe the bottom line of our faith includes, “The need to intentionally demonstrate our love for Him by loving our neighbor – I John 4:20-21.”
Our mission/calling at Harvest is to equip churches to equip their people to do just that. In spite of the Covid-19 restrictions, our teams around the world have continued to do that, but instead of travel for face-to-face trainings, we are doing that through Zoom and other digital platforms. Here is a recent report from our Global Coordinator, Elly Oliveira:
1. Dashboard – highlights: Last month we had 68 online sessions with 718 participants. The online sessions have blessed many teams, for example, Edson Fiuza (Brazil, Ceara) and a group of 9 YWAMers did a training using Harvest lessons and totally funded with local resources, what they called a School done with Local Resources. Their experience was very positive, reducing the cost per student from R$100 to R$20 reais (local currency). This inspired the team to do more online trainings, where they can reach people from YWAM bases in other areas.
2. Global team – highlights:
a) Currently, we have 63 pastors in the global team.
b) In response to the food shortage that affected all regions, several team members and their churches have used the time of the lockdown to grow vegetable gardens and help their communities.
c) In Liberia, West Africa, William pastors a Free Evangelical Church that was mobilized to share information, hygiene items, and food, “thanking God for making them strong and alive, and helping the church be relevant during the crisis.”
d) In Peru, Atilio’s great concern has been with pastors who rent the place for church meetings, but without gatherings they don’t have the funds to pay the rent nor the pastor’s salary. However, even with these difficulties, fifteen pastors participated in the online training and gave thanks to God.
d) In India, Julias & Anita helped people who were depressed and contemplating suicide after days of lockdown, having lost a dear one, or when receiving the positive result of a covid test.
e) In Russia, Karachaevo, Artur & Kristina trained a pastor whose church did a project of sewing face masks and donated them to needy elderly people. Afterwards, the pastor shared the project with his denomination, which resulted in 200 churches in Russia adopting the same initiative. This was broadcasted on TV
In both the Zoom and radio programs, I interview church leaders and ordinary people who are living examples of those who are living out their faith in such a way that they allow the Holy Spirit to use their hands and feet to be the hands and feet of Jesus in their families, church, neighborhoods, schools, workplace, etc.
You can access the Zoom interviews on our website, www.harvestfoundation.org. Use the following tabs: Resources, and then, Jesus’ Hands and Feet.
The radio podcasts can be accessed in several ways.
1. Listen (and Subscribe) to The Kingdom & Its Stories Podcast on Apple Podcasts https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-kingdom-its-stories-podcast/id1517415053
2. On the Harvest website: https://www.harvestfoundation.org/the-kingdom-and-its-stories/
3. “Live” on 1360 AM Faith Talk Radio in Phoenix, AZ on Monday’s at 5:30 pm MST.
Hacked I’ve heard of being hacked, and have even been a victim – getting an email from some of our global team members describing a financial emergency and asking for help. After checking with the team member I found that, though the email address was correct, the request was not from them but a hacker looking for a quick buck.
I had been unaware of an entire server being hacked. Ours was. Someone hacked into our Harvest server, was reading our email exchanges long enough to find out how financial decisions were made and who made them. They learned that I was the decision maker and they knew who carried out the decisions.
In early May they sent several invoices over a week totaling a large sum with instruction to our financial administrative team to pay immediately by wire. They blocked our team’s questions to me regarding the unusual nature of the invoices. Instead, the hacker(s) wrote back to our administrative team that this was legitimate and it needed to be sent as soon as possible. They even named the accounts from which the funds should come. The invoices were paid.
When we found out what was happening, we immediately began to secure our server and put protocols in place to prevent this from happening another time. We are in the process of hiring a professional IT security firm to further strengthen our fire-wall. Unfortunately, the insurance we have for bank fraud won’t cover these losses since we technically authorized payment of the invoices.
Last week, our board decided to fund the fraudulent invoices from the proceeds of the sale of our office building in order to protect designated funds from being touched to cover the losses.
Please pray for us and for the fraudsters – that God would be honored in the way we respond and the outcome.
Warm in Phoenix Temperatures have hit triple digits here for several weeks. Judy and I plan to change locations to cooler Oceanside were, because of the internet, I can continue my role in Harvest and the other organizations I serve.
Again, thank you for your prayer, encouragement and support.
Bob and Judy