History of the Crisis Care Kit (CCK)
Nazarene Missions International (NMI) has a legacy of hands-on participation. It was this rich heritage that resulted in the founding of NMI more than 100 years ago. The passion to be directly involved in missions fostered the partnership between Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM) and NMI, resulting in the ministry of
Crisis Care Kits.
In the early 1990’s, Nina Gunter, then global NMI director, was visiting churches with then the Los Angeles District NMI President Lois Ward, informing and inspiring pastors and NMI leaders about missions. After an evening service, the women were loading their materials in the trunk of Lois’s car when Nina noticed an interesting package and asked about it. “That is a Compassion Pack,” said Lois. She explained that she drove her husband into downtown Los Angeles regularly for medical treatments. Passing numerous homeless people on the way, Lois saw a need and assembled bags that contained food and hygiene items. She distributed them as she drove to and from home.
Upon Dr. Gunter’s return to Kansas City, she told the NMI Office team about the Compassion Packs. Another hands-on ministry, MedCarePaks, was already in full swing; however, the contents were costly for small churches.
Over the years, requests for help from the Global NMI Office increased as a result of disasters around the world. Practical items were needed, providing immediate help when nothing was available to those in crisis.
NCM and NMI began discussions regarding an adaptation of the MedCarePaks. Nina was reminded of Lois’s “Compassion Packs.” The change to Crisis Care Kits was proposed to the Global NMI Council, explaining that CCKs would be less expensive to gather, more versatile, and have a longer shelf-life than the MedCarePaks. The Council voted to make the change immediately.
Nina Gunter wrote at that time, “I am thrilled by the new aspect of the Care Kits. The MedCarePaks provided a great beginning for providing relief around the world. Care Kits will allow wider participation among all ages in a local church and will especially allow small churches to participate effortlessly.”
Since 2000, the two ministries have worked together, with NCM exploring needed items for the inventory and NMI promoting Crisis Care Kits and distributing the inventory lists and instructions to districts.