Help Provide Compassion Services

An Ongoing Ministry

Although COVID-19 may no longer be causing the same waves of lockdowns, hospitalizations and deaths that it did early in the pandemic, its economic impact continues to cause widespread suffering. As local economies and impoverished families in the areas we serve struggle to survive and recover, GFA World continues to help people in whatever ways we can.

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. We are also providing aid in Rwanda in conjunction with our expanding ministry efforts in the Kigali area.

The photos and stories below are examples of how we have provided compassionate relief throughout the pandemic and in the wake of its economic devastation. By God’s grace, we continue to help people in need, doing so in the name of Jesus Christ.

Updates from the Field

July 26, 2022

Healed from COVID, Mom Finds Peace

Woman in line during COVID-19.
Like Liya, this woman faced an uncertain furture amidst the COVID-19 pandmeic.

Fear surged through Liya’s mind when she received the result of her COVID-19 test: positive. She had heard of many people dying of COVID-19. What if she died? What would happen to her children? Who would look after them? Would they get sick too?

She got medicine and isolated for a few weeks, which put a huge financial strain on the family. But even after that, she was still unwell. Confusion and anxiety clouded her mind. She cried out to her gods for healing, but she felt depressed and fearful.

Then one of Liya’s relatives, who attends the church led by GFA pastor Paavo, told the pastor about Liya’s health condition and her stress. Pastor Paavo visited Liya one day and prayed for her. A few days later, he called to check up on her and prayed for her again.

After some time, Liya tested negative for COVID-19 and began to feel better. She testified that the Lord had healed her and given her a second chance at life. And she expressed thanks for Pastor Paavo’s encouragement, prayers and support.

Amazed by the healing after so many weeks of ill health, Liya and her husband both chose to follow Jesus. They started joining Pastor Paavo’s congregation for worship services each Sunday and publicly declared their new faith.

“After being tested positive for COVID-19, I was so scared to hear [about] the people dying with the same,” Liya said. “And I was so troubled thinking about my children. But I was comforted by the encouraging words of the pastor, and I am healed completely through the prayers. In those days, I experienced the love of God in my life.”

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.

Video Highlight, 2022

GFA World: Feeding the Hungry

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

April 18, 2022

One Diocese Helps Nearly 1,500 People

Food kits.
Food kits ready for distribution
Group of people listen to a GFA missionary.
GFA missionaries and churches in one region distributed food to nearly 1,500 people in need.

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

Woman smiling while walking with a food pack on her back.
Woman joyfully carries home provisions from a GFA distribution.

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

GFA worker gives food kit to a boy in GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program.

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.

Students happily carry home provisions for their families.

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

This elderly woman received a hygiene kit from GFA missionaries to help protect her health.

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

Assistant sub-inspector Rainer hands a local child hygiene kit, a mosquito net and face masks.

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.”

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.

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