MB Foundation Grants Nearly $700,000 for COVID 19 ReliefBrenda Hamm
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on churches, ministries and individuals, MB Foundation announces grants totaling $700,000 for the benefit of the Mennonite Brethren church family. Over $340,000 has been distributed back to borrowers in the form of a Borrower Relief Grant. The grants are equal to approximately one month’s interest and have been issued in the form of a check to every church, organization and home loan borrower, to aid them in meeting expenses or caring for others. This is in addition to Loan Modifications already extended during this pandemic. “We pray this loan relief provides strength and stability to our borrowers during a time of great need and uncertainty,” said Jon C. Wiebe, President and CEO of MB Foundation.
In addition, MB Foundation has made a second contribution to the COVID-19 Church Relief Fund; this one in the amount of $350,000. The fund was established to provide support for MB churches so they could maintain financial stability and continue to meet the needs of congregants.
During its recent virtual Board of Directors meeting on April 24, 2020 it was decided how MB Foundation would respond to the needs of the family, based on its own strong financial standing. “We debated how we might be prudent, wise stewards, great fiduciaries and yet open the storehouses, being generous on every occasion. As we grappled with the story of Joseph we asked, ‘What are our storehouses for?’, said Wiebe. “We reflected on the words in 2 Corinthians 9:11–12, ‘You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.’”
MB Foundation’s response in these two areas exceeds any other granting year for the organization. “This year will not be a good year in the traditional sense, but we are very excited to make resources available to our church family and bear one another’s burdens during this unprecedented season of distress,” says Wiebe. MB Foundation’s grants includes a firstfruits gift to USMB, distributed in the past few weeks; a matching challenge of $25,000 to help establish the Church Relief Fund; along with the two contributions of nearly $350,000 each. These four gifts put MB Foundation at approximately $900,000 distributed back to its national family in the past month.
“We have determined this is a great opportunity to be generous like never before, resulting in thanksgiving to God,” said Wiebe.