1 March, 2024

IDES Helped Close to 700,000 People During 2023, Its 50th Year

by | 9 February, 2024 | 2 comments

The work carried out by International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES) never really ends . . . and a new crisis can occur at any time. 

There were three major U.S. disasters and three major international disasters that occurred during 2023 to which IDES dedicated its resources, expertise, and manpower. Beyond that, the organization continued to provide assistance to individuals and regions recovering from disasters that occurred in prior years. 

IDES was created back in 1973 as a disaster relief organization for the Independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ. During 2023, IDES celebrated its 50th anniversary. 

As a mission, IDES provides a way for our churches to pool their financial resources with other churches and individual donors. Those pooled funds are then used to effectively carry out disaster response, hunger relief, medical care, and community development that is centered around evangelism. 

IDES works with mission partners around the world in the aftermath of floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, typhoons, fire, earthquakes, volcanoes, drought, and other natural disasters. It also responds to manmade disasters, such as civil wars that create the flight of refugees.  

“We reach out through our partners to show the love of Jesus by sharing clean water, food, shelter, and the gospel of Jesus Christ,” shared Jeff Greene, advancement director with IDES. “Our mission is to share help and hope with the world! To introduce as many people as possible to our Lord and Savior.” 

Christian Standard asked IDES to share a rundown of the organization’s disaster relief efforts during 2023. This article is based on information Greene shared on behalf of IDES. 

RESPONDING TO THE MAUI WILDFIRES

U.S. DISASTER RESPONSE 

Tennessee Tornadoes, December 2023 — IDES worked with Gateway Christian Church (Clarksville) and Madison Christian Church (Hendersonville) in the aftermath of the tornadoes. The work has included debris cleanup and the installation of storage sheds on several properties. This relief effort is ongoing. 

WORK CONTINUES WITH FLORIDA’S NEW DAY CHRISTIAN CHURCH

Hurricane Idalia in Florida, August 2023 — IDES worked at Burnham Christian Church in Jennings, Fla., and Live Oak Christian Church in Live Oak, Fla. 

Wildfires on Maui, Hawaii, August 2023 — IDES partnered with Cornerstone Christian Church on Maui. IDES has given financial assistance to 26 families who were impacted by the fire by losing their jobs or homes. Two people gave their lives to Christ and one of those individuals was a homeowner the church has been assisting. Many people have not returned to their homes. A long recovery is anticipated. 

Hurricane Ian in Florida, September 2022 — IDES has been working with New Day Christian Church in Port Charlotte, Fla., since September 2022 and will continue to have volunteer crews through May 2024. (More volunteers are encouraged to sign up.) IDES has helped 83 families rebuild their homes since early January 2023; dozens more are awaiting help. Senior minister Rusty Russell and staff have been an integral part of the work there and continue to minister to hundreds of people affected by the storm. In 2023, New Day Christian Church baptized 381. 

Additionally . . . IDES also returned to Western Kentucky in 2023 to repair a home that was damaged by a tornado in December 2021.   

INTERNATIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE 

Earthquake in Afghanistan, October 2023 — IDES provided emergency food relief to more than 1,000 people in the name of Jesus. The ministry now is helping with winter relief items, such as tents and blankets, for the earthquake victims because winter in Afghanistan is very difficult for the people who have lost their homes.  

SENDING FOOD RELIEF TO UKRAINE

Earthquake in Morocco, September 2023 — IDES worked with three partners to provide emergency relief in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. More than 3,700 people were helped with food, hygiene supplies, blankets, and other essentials. As a result of the discipleship by partners of the organization, 11 people have been baptized.  

Earthquake in Turkey/Syria, February 2023 — IDES helped more than 39,000 people affected by the earthquake by providing heating oil, blankets, clothes, food, hygiene kits, clean water, two mobile kitchens that provide three meals per day, and also repairing a bakery that is providing 1,200 loaves of bread per day through the local church. During the past year, over 375,000 meals have been provided to victims of the earthquake. Six baptisms have been reported and four home churches have formed as a result of the relief. 

War in Ukraine, since February 2022 — IDES has served more than 206,000 Ukrainians through various partnerships in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and other nearby countries. IDES will continue working in Ukraine, Poland, and Moldova in the coming months. As with most of the countries listed above, winter has caused challenges to Ukrainians living in war-torn areas, and IDES continues to provide relief in the form of food, medicines, warm clothing, and repairs to homes.  

Additionally . . . IDES continues to provide some support and relief resulting from the Myanmar Civil War (2021), U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan (2021), and the drought in East Africa (started in 2021). 

2023: BY THE NUMBERS 

  • 2,556,860 GAP (God Always Provides) Meals packed. 
  • 11 containers shipped with 220 tons of GAP Meals & GAP Care. 
  • 11,133 GAP volunteers worked 17,198 hours preparing meals at 148 packing events. 
  • IDES responded to 9 U.S. disasters in 14 different locations. 
  • IDES’ U.S. disaster response enlisted 355 volunteers representing 22 states and 62 churches who spent 9,788 hours sharing help and hope. 
  • 2,288 homes were repaired or reconstructed in the U.S. and internationally.  
  • 18 new farms were constructed and 13,500 chickens distributed. 
  • There were more than 1,100 decisions to follow Christ. 
  • 11,637 Bibles were distributed. 
  • 44 countries were served. 
  • IDES worked with 102 mission partners. 
  • There were 176 total projects. 
  • 146,126 refugees were served. 
  • Work included 54 water wells and 600 purification systems. 
  • 52 surgeries were performed and 2,350 medical kits were provided. 
  • Altogether, IDES helped close to 700,000 people in 2023. 

50th ANNIVERSARY 

In addition to responding to disasters near and far, IDES was able to hold several events in celebration of their 50-year anniversary. Those banquet celebrations of IDES’ past, present, and future occured at Venture Christian Church in Carmel, Ind. (near IDES’ headquarters in Noblesville) and during ICOM in Oklahoma City. Additionally, IDES had an open house and 5-kilometer event in August 2023. Also during the year, more than 100 people participated in IDES’ 50 Weeks of Prayer initiative.  

The ministry also launched their “50 Churches for 50 Years” campaign in 2023. This project will come alongside IDES’ mission partners to plant churches either after disasters or through community development, evangelistic outreach, and other partnership opportunities. The campaign seeks to raise $750,000 (or $15,000 per church, on average) so that churches can be planted where none are presently located both internationally and in the U.S.  

Moving forward, IDES’ budget for 2024 is $6.3 million. Current staffing is 22 full-time employees, but the ministry plans to add several international field workers in various countries who will lead focused long-term efforts that include community development, evangelism, and discipleship. 

2 Comments

  1. Judy wyne

    IDES has helped so many families after Ian through New Day church. We are very grateful for all they do. A wonderful ministry.

  2. richard praskac

    1989-1992
    I left ALL with a young family, 2 babies, one handicapped, and I stepped OFF THE CLIFF IN FULL faith! DEPENDING ON GOD TOTALLY TO FEED US, AND PAY OUR BILLS ETC. I simply felt I did all and it wasn’t working.
    A.C.T.S, was a Christian agency doing relief and mission sending globally, with high benevolences. So we, (me and God), worked F/T FREE and somehow managed to feed several hundreds of thousands of people, add medical, clothes, tools etc. ALL FROM NEARLY ZERO, NO SUPPORTS OR AFFILIATIONS = MIRACLES. Local churches tried but never could do the same

    He has plans for each of us, but He wants to see our desire for Him!
    YEP what I did. crazy huh? We kept our owned house etc also
    Ya know what WE SAW MIRACLES FROM OUTTA DA BLUE NEAR DAILY. Money, food clothes, whatever. OK we missed a few meals and a few other items SO WHAT? An hour ride each way, in a big Chevy, and I cant tell you how we had fuel.
    There’s a ton more to say. But I know He is always watching each of us. He alone sees our heart, and reads our thoughts.

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