South Asia’s mandated lockdown that began March 25 in response to COVID-19 has especially affected the poor and needy. Many are day labourers dependent on a meagre, hard-earned daily wage to put food on the table, but current regulations prevent them from working. Even if they had an income, many can’t leave their home villages to seek food due to the strict regulations.
As a result, these villagers cannot provide food for their families and are threatened with starvation. For many people, the situation has engendered fear and depression.
But there is a ray of hope as GFA-supported workers bring relief to the severely hungry in local villages. One of the most prominent methods has been through food distribution.
‘We Would Have Definitely Died in Hunger’
The situation in one area of South Asia had grown particularly dire, and villagers felt helpless.
“We thought it is better to die and not live in this world as nobody had come and helped us,” said one villager. “We are in a terrible situation. If you would have not come and given the food items, we would have definitely died in hunger.”
God guided GFA-supported pastor Hafeedh and his team to this village to distribute groceries, and it seems they came just in time.
“In this difficult situation in which people are afraid to come out and talk, [Pastor Hafeedh] came here … and helped us,” said a villager.
Their distribution wasn’t the only timely one. After local pastors distributed food in a slum of Haryana, India, villagers thanked the workers for helping “at the right time.”
“Since we were not able to go out for the last few weeks,” said Kafeel, a local, “we could not work or earn any money and were running short of food for our family. We want to thank you for your help in this critical time.”
Privileged to Show the Love of Christ
In one area of Sri Lanka, GFA-supported pastor Paden partnered with another local religious leader as well as government officials to provide dry food packs to families.
“I praise God [for enabling us] to serve our villagers, community people and other villagers in this needy hour and amidst all restrictions,” Paden said.
Dasbala, a government official, felt blessed to work alongside such a dedicated leader who really cares for the people of the community.
He said of the work, “I am so proud to say that this is called real Christianity, showing Jesus’ love to people.”
Intrigued upon seeing the tangible display of Christ’s love, Dasbala asked Pastor Paden about Jesus. The pastor happily answered his questions and provided him with a Bible.
“I also want to study about Christian life and requested a Bible,” said Dasbala, “which I want to read and understand through [Pastor Paden’s help].”
In the midst of crisis, believers have been able to show God’s love and care in very practical ways, both to local leaders and everyday people.
“We have heard that you and your church help poor and needy individuals and families, but today I have seen with my own eyes,” said a villager. “I am so amazed by your dedication to help the poor even in this difficult situation.”