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International Disaster Emergency Service

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Title: International Disaster Emergency Service  
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International Disaster Emergency Service

International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES) is a non-profit organization based in Churches of Christ. Much of its relief effort is done through missionaries already in place in the countries needing assistance.

IDES has offered emergency relief in 90 countries around the world.

History of IDES

The inception of IDES came from the humble beginnings of founder, Milton Bates, from Marion, Indiana. Bates, an elder at the Marion Church of Christ, was touched by a television news program depicting the plight of the people of Bangladesh after a typhoon and tidal wave. Bates solicited interest in disaster relief, and in 1973, formed the first board of directors for the legally incorporated IDES.

Dick Sprague was added as the first staff member in 1974. After conducting business in the Bates home for 10 years, an office building was donated in 1983. The organization currently employs 9 full-time employees and relies on the support of thousands of volunteers.

Milton Bates died in 2007, leaving his son-in-law, Rick Jett, as the executive director of IDES.


IDES has developed a variety of interactive programs designed to involve those who want to be involved with those that have a need

  • Vacation Bible School/Children’s Programs: Over $45,000 was raised in 2009 through Vacation Bible Schools and Children’s programs. IDES curriculum is available for Vacation Bible Schools and Children’s programs.
  • The Manna Project: A fasting and praying program for youth and adults. 100% of funding goes directly to those in hunger around the world
  • Harvest of Talents (H.O.T.): Funds for food go to missions in Brazil, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Thailand, and Zimbabwe.
  • SonFish Banks: plastic banks sent out free of charge used to raise money by individuals, groups and churches.


  • Evangelism: IDES funding is channeled through Christian Churches / Church of Christ to help those in need and offer the saving message of Jesus Christ to the world.
  • Disaster: IDES provides for both the immediate and long-term need of victims of disaster.
  • Hunger: IDES is dedicated to helping those suffering the effects of hunger.
  • Development: IDES’ goal is to give victims a “hand up”, not a “hand out”. Empowering people to, in the end, become self-sufficient.
  • Medical: IDES supplies missionaries and their families with medicines, medical supplies and emergency medical treatment if they are lacking financial resources. IDES also provides the necessary resources for temporary health clinics sponsored by a missionary or mission organization.

Thai Peace Foundation (TPF)

Thai Peace Foundation’s goals are to develop teams of trained and equipped individuals to help in the empowerment of Bangkok's poor. The main outreach tool is the congregation working within their own community. All benevolent aid is given for the purpose of having the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

IDES and Hunger Relief

IDES seeks to offer relief for hunger caused by food shortages due to climate, drought, natural disasters as well as failures in the agricultural infrastructure and lack of technical knowledge. A drought in Kenya has caused 3 million people to go hungry, despite recent advances in farming technology. IDES interventions have helped to offset this crisis. Six new churches were established in this region as well. Five dollars a month will feed a family in Kenya.


Through the “God Always ProVIDES” program, within one week of the earthquake in Haiti, 100,000 prepackaged meals (a nutritionally complete blend of soy protein, enriched rice and dehydrated vegetables along with added vitamins and minerals) were shipped to Haiti and made available to the mission partners there. This initial shipment has been followed by other relief efforts including urgently needed medical supplies and safe drinking water. Project funding also continues to provide shelter, clothing, transportation of relief supplies and repairs to mission properties needed to help the influx of refugees. Currently, approximately, $450,000 has been allocated through twenty-four Christian Church/Church of Christ missions inside Haiti.


  • Christian Standard: Interview with Rick Jett by Brad Dupray

External links

  • Hunger Programs Retrieved 2010-04-21.
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