At Baptist World Aid, I have the very great privilege of collecting the stories we share with you… and hearing them, firsthand.

I met Tabitha from the Matching Grant Appeal on my last trip to the field.

There, in that remote part of Kenya, Tabitha welcomed me into her home. I sat with her as she cried, remembering the traumatic loss of her dad as a child. And as she recounted her lifelong struggle against poverty, I was amazed by the evidence and fruit of her effort  all around us – thriving livestock, happy children, freshly planted crop fields, and a safe place to sleep and shelter.

I was greatly inspired by how far she had come. And I found myself feeling very thankful for your generous support, which is what made all that incredible change possible in the first place.

But now the world is facing a global pandemic.

Just shy of 36 years old, I’ve never seen the likes of this coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in my lifetime. It is a disaster which truly affects us all… meaning that Tabitha and her children will not be left untouched. Once again, this beautiful woman will be forced to fight – and fight hard – for her family’s survival.

I suppose it’s not at all surprising that when disasters threaten or hit, my heart immediately turns toward those families who I’ve met in the affected regions. And this is especially true now, even amidst this crisis which has touched us all… because I know it’s mums like Tabitha who stand to lose the most throughout the course of this pandemic.

Imagine you’re trying to survive poverty during the coronavirus lockdown. When the lack of clean water means you can’t wash your hands. Where social distancing is impossible because you and generations of your family live in the same, single room hut. Where malnutrition compromises your children’s immune systems. And where no work means no money… because you don’t have the advantage of your government’s financial support.

Right now, with markets in Kenya closed due to coronavirus restrictions, there is nowhere for Tabitha to sell her crops or earn an income. A hunger crisis – or even famine – is rapidly becoming a very real threat in her community. And the long-term effects of this pandemic are threatening to undo all the progress she has fought so hard to make.

This is why your gift to the Matching Grant Appeal this year is more important than ever.

Our Christian partner on the ground is already working hard to reduce the impact of this coronavirus pandemic on its project communities.

Handwashing stations have been set up and personal protective equipment (including masks) have been distributed. Staff are urgently sharing lifesaving information about hygiene and social distancing with vulnerable families – by whatever means available and safe. And importantly, mum like Tabitha are being supplied with emergency food rations to help them get through this pandemic… so they don’t have to sell off everything they’ve worked so hard to build, in order to feed their hungry children.

And if you are in a position to give, then your help is urgently needed.

Until June 30, your gift to the Matching Grant Appeal will be matched by an Australian government aid grant… up to 10:1!  Ensuring families like Tabitha’s not only survive coronavirus, but can also rebuild flourishing livelihoods when it is safe to do so!

This is your once-a-year chance to get your gift matched by an Australian government aid grant. And help a mum like Tabitha to live through this pandemic and win her fight against poverty.

Your support does more than you can imagine – I’ve seen it, time and again.

Please give your matched gift today. Who knows whose story it might help to make possible next?