From March 27 to April 2, GFA-supported workers serving in Sri Lanka provided grocery items, which included rice, sugar, dal (lentils), tea leaves and vegetables, to 165 families in four different regions. Local pastors, businessmen, police officers and a government authority provided the funds to purchase these items in bulk for distribution.
In one area, GFA-supported workers served alongside Buddhist monks and other religious leaders to provide tea and biscuits to 350 local police and armed forces in their region.
“I am surprised that a Christian missionary took initiative and convinced us to help our own Buddhist friends and villagers,” said a Buddhist businessman who contributed to a food distribution in his village. “This is a great act of love, [done] not considering [their] own safety from Corona, but thinking of innocent poor people who do not receive any help.”
Soap Distribution in a Leprosy Colony
On April 4, a group of Sisters of Compassion and Women’s Fellowship sisters visited a leprosy colony to provide packets of soap to its residents. They were able to give away 100 bars of soap, and they encouraged people to stay home and practice handwashing to safeguard against the virus.
“I want to give thanks to the [church] and its leadership for helping me and my family,” said a leprosy patient. “This gift is very helpful for us to be safe and protect ourselves from coronavirus.”
Pastor and Wife Overcome Fear to Help Others
GFA-supported pastor Manoj and his wife, Sarita, were able to provide food to five families in their communities on the morning of April 3.
“Although the pastor and his family were afraid to come out of their house [because of the virus], thinking something worse would happen to them, still they … reached the needy families in the early hours of the day,” reported a GFA-field correspondent. “Those families are in dire need of food items and were frustrated as they had no meal for some days. Some of the family members had no hope of their survival as they are daily wage labourers.”
Pastor Manoj and Sarita distributed face masks, rice, dal, soybeans, onions and potatoes.
Aaloka, 40, was one of those who received much-needed help. She is married and has five children. Her husband is a day labourer working in another district. Because of the lockdown, he hasn’t been able to return home. Aaloka worried over her children, wondering how she would feed them.
“God came to our family and provided for us,” she says. “I am extremely happy and thanking God for the lives of all those who showed concern to us.”
Stranded Migrant Workers Given Provisions During Lockdown
On April 3, day labourers in Chhattisgarh, India, and migrant workers unable to return to their home state of West Bengal, India, were given a meal and grocery items. Because of the nationwide lockdown, they’ve been unable to find food or travel back to their homes.
Monkey Street Performers Receive ‘Priceless’ Help
Eighty families across the Indian city of Hyderabad received food supplies and soap. Thirty-five of those families earn their living by performing monkey shows on the side of the road or sending their children for begging.
“Our work is not good or appreciated,” said one 35-year-old recipient, whose main income is earned by performing monkey shows. “During the lockdown period, we are not able to feed our children. We are totally helpless and are so scared for our survival. As we are in a panic of how to get food, Pastor Kunal has shown compassion upon us and provided rice to 35 families. Really, this help is priceless.”
Church Members Give to Help Others
GFA-supported pastor Bhavin, who serves in Uttarakhand, India, called together the members of his church and encouraged them to contribute food products to help the poor in their community. They were able to purchase enough rice, sugar, dal and mustard oil to give to a few families living in a village three miles away.
One of the recipients said, “We were praying for someone to come and help us. Really, God has sent you. We are so grateful to the pastor and his church.”
Pastor Bhavin has encouraged his congregation to continue to give so they can help more people, share Christ’s love and let people know the church cares for them.
Bridge of Hope Staff Cook Meal for Migrant Workers
In Uttarakhand, India, Bridge of Hope staff are reaching out to their neighbours in need by providing cooked meals. In one area, the staff cooked meals for 65 migrant labourers from Bihar who are unable to return to their homes because of the lockdown.
“The labourers were very happy and grateful … for their kindness,” reported a GFA-supported field correspondent. “Some of their eyes were filled with tears.”
In another area, Bridge of Hope staff cooked a meal of potato curry and puri (flatbread) for families in need. They were able to distribute 56 packets of the cooked meal.
“I am very much impressed by the teachings of Jesus that [show how to] love one another,” said a recipient. “Now I can see that in your efforts to help the people who do not know you.”