The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe is bringing death and destruction. We at GFA and our field partners have entered an all-out crisis response mode to immediately help the most destitute: the beggars who now have no way of receiving alms, the daily labourers without jobs, people living on the street, and anyone else in need and at risk of starvation.
With a wide reach of thousands of congregations and fellowship groups spread throughout South Asia, we are in a unique position to provide aid where others cannot.
See photos from those who are on the ground and read reports about the relief efforts as we provide food and medical supplies to those in need. Please join us in this long-term effort as we seek to help millions who are affected.
When the pandemic hit, people all around the world were effected. Many people in remote regions were already barely making ends meet and surviving on their daily wages, but with the coronavirus, many were now out of work and could no longer afford food to eat.
Here what GFA World and our partners have been doing to help during the Coronavirus.
"The church has been a huge help to our community, especially in times when we didn't have a regular income." — Doman
Help Provide for People in Need
Your gift can make a tremendous difference. It provides urgently needed food and other humanitarian aid to men, women and children in desperate need, all in the name and love of Christ.
April 18, 2022
One Diocese Helps Nearly 1,500 People
In one Asian region, GFA churches celebrated their nation’s independence in a unique way last year: by relieving people from hunger. Through numerous distribution programs, 42 churches led by GFA pastors helped 1,480 people in need with food, face masks and encouragement.
One distribution was held in a slum, where most residents are daily wage labourers who typically earn a living selling fiber items. They had been unable to work, however, because of the pandemic-related lockdown. These families received food kits containing rice, beans, oil, salt and spices, and they received hope. GFA pastor Yaron encouraged the people from God’s Word and prayed over them. Women’s Fellowship leader Valena also offered words of inspiration, as well as practical tips on health care and COVID-19 awareness.
Laini, a 35-year-old mother of three, gratefully received a food kit.
“We were facing so many difficulties due to the lockdown,” Laini said. “We were unable to go to work. Thank you for giving us food items.”
Provision for Laborers Unable to Work
Elsewhere in Asia, GFA pastor Bayden initiated a distribution for the needy people in his community. Dependent on daily wage jobs, these families have had no source of income during the pandemic. As a result, they have faced starvation and struggled to survive.
Pastor Bayden compassionately provided these families with essentials such as rice, oil, salt and soap. The items filled recipients’ hearts with joy.
“I thank [the church] for the kind help,” said Hyatt, a food recipient. “I work as a daily wage earner to buy essential items. But this COVID-19 lockdown has prevented me from earning a daily wage. I was so depressed and worried, thinking, ‘How am I going to provide for my family's needs?’”
Ragan, another recipient, also responded to the gifts with thanksgiving.
“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Believers Eastern Church for showing compassion towards us and providing a package of rice, oil, soap, and salt,” Ragan said.
March 22, 2022
Timely Aid for a Hungry Tourist Town
What are you to do when your income relies on tourism and tourists are suddenly not allowed within your region? This is the dilemma people in at least one Asian tourist town have faced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The people there depend almost entirely on tourism for their livelihoods, running tea shops or offering lodging or transportation to guests of their community. With no visitors allowed, the residents were left for many months without an avenue to provide for their families.
Fortunately, there is also a GFA World Child Sponsorship Program near this community, and the program became a source of critical relief for people in need during this crisis. Though authorities had imposed strict rules regarding anyone entering the district, GFA World program staff obtained permission to enter the town for the sake of a food distribution.
As a result, 101 families received critically needed food kits containing rice, chickpeas, beans, oil, salt and sugar, as well as a box of matches. The recipients were extremely grateful for the timely aid, which filled them with joy and relief. GFA pastor Petros also encouraged recipients, offering them hope from God’s Word and reiterating safety guidelines for people to protect themselves from the virus.
Aleric, who is part of the child sponsorship program, is a regular beneficiary of GFA World efforts in his community and knew of the workers’ care and concern.
“Every time I and my family were in need, the [program] has always helped us,” Aleric said. “This time, too, I was hopeful and had told my parents that our [program’s] leaders would surely come and provide help to us. I am so thankful to you that you understand us and came to save us from starving.”
Vadim, another beneficiary, was also grateful for the food kit he received.
“I have been struggling for many days, as I have no source of income due to the lockdown,” Vadim said. “I have finished all my savings, too, and now I have nothing to feed my family. But today I am really grateful to you for providing the essential groceries for my family. Thank you very much for your help.”
February 21, 2022
GFA Workers Respond to Dual Threat of Disease
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, people in some areas have faced a dual threat of disease. Already threatened by the coronavirus and its spread, they soon faced another health risk as the flooding of the rainy season brought an all-too-familiar adversary: the mosquito and the dangerous diseases it can carry.
Staff from GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program in one area recognized the buzzing threat and ensuing battle people in the community faced. In response, they organized a distribution—which included mosquito nets, sanitizer, soap and face masks—to help local children and families in need protect themselves from these diseases.
Local policemen, including assistant sub-inspector Rainer, participated in the distribution program, and the children joyfully received the much-needed items. Now these children, many of whom have learned about proper hygiene through the sponsorship program, have tools to protect themselves from both the coronavirus and vector-borne diseases.
Pastor Distributes Care
Elsewhere in the country, news of the pervasive spread of COVID-19 in Pastor Cabot’s community concerned the GFA missionary. Among those most vulnerable and most affected were poor daily wage labourers, the very “least of these” he served. Pastor Cabot thought of those in the village he knew personally who had been affected. As worry grew in his heart, so did compassion, which compelled him to act.
To help prevent further infections, Pastor Cabot arranged for more than 70 individuals suffering from the virus to receive face masks, soap and sanitizer. Recipients were grateful for the pastor’s love and care toward them.
“I am extremely thankful to you for the love and care towards us,” Remo, one recipient, told Pastor Cabot. “The things which we received seem small, but the love you showed towards us is great.”
January 31, 2022
Aid for Marginalized People Group
Semi-nomadic forest dwellers, the group of indigenous people was disadvantaged and marginalized. Many of them lacked even basic public services such as electricity, health care and education. GFA missionaries had established a school in the village to help educate their children, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, the people faced new challenges as they struggled to feed their families.
Yearning once again to help these people, GFA missionaries coordinated a food distribution for them. Each food kit contained rice, oil, salt and soap.
“The ministry of [the church] is to show love, help and compassion to the suffering, poor and needy people,” GFA pastor Meshach told those gathered. “The Lord Christ has taught us to do so. Therefore, we have come to you with these items. Accept these items as the love of our ministry as well as the love of Christ.”
Mr. Odis, a local government representative, participated in the distribution and thanked the GFA missionaries for their exemplary service among the poor and needy in their community. The 92 families who benefited from the distribution received the food with great joy and gratitude.
Samone and her husband own no land, and her husband’s income barely met their needs even before the pandemic. With the onset of COVID-19, their financial situation plummeted.
“My husband became jobless and was unable to provide for our daily needs,” Samone said. “We were so worried about our lives. … Today, [the church] has added happiness to our life by providing enough rations. Thank you so much!”
Rees, another recipient, shared how the pain of their disadvantaged people group has intensified with the pandemic.
“Happiness is never found in us or written in our destiny. We are always plagued by problems,” Rees said. “Even now we are in need of help because we don't have a source of income. We don't have land to cultivate crops. … It hurts when I think of our pain. I thank [the church] leaders for concerning our lives and coming here with rations. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart.”