Menahem and Raheem are two men from two villages. Both serve as secretaries in GFA churches, both took their pastors’ words to heart, both were compelled to action. Neither sought honor or recognition. Menahem and Raheem are just two ordinary believers who took compassion on neighbours in need and sought to help them and show the love of Christ in practical ways.
Thirty families now have food as a result.
Reaching Out to Neighbours in Need
Despite early success in containing the coronavirus in Odisha, cases recently spiked, with 10,000 new cases in just 15 days. This spike followed the return home of 150,000 migrant workers, who had left to find work elsewhere and now added to the number of people in the area unable to work or provide food for their families.
Throughout the pandemic Menahem’s pastor encouraged his congregation to reach out to those around them. There were many who could use a helping hand, who needed to know they weren’t alone, who waited to receive hope.
Seeing the needs of neighbours, Menahem and his family packed dry ration kits that included rice, eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes and gave them to 15 families in need, many of them of other faiths. His pastor and an elder of the church helped distribute the food.
Dipali was one recipient. Her family of five somehow managed with the meagre daily wages her husband typically earned as a tractor driver, but he has been unable to work for two months during the lockdown.
“We have not received any wages,” Dipali said. “So we had to borrow some money from our neighbour to meet the daily needs of our family. We want to thank you so much for your great help amidst this crisis.”
Harusha also received a dry ration kit for her family.
“We as a family want to thank God and the church leaders for helping us during this global crisis,” Harusha said. “Though we do not belong to their faith, they showed love and care to us. We thank them and pray for God’s blessings upon them.”
Ministering to Ministers
Meanwhile, Raheem, secretary at another GFA church, was compelled to reach out to local pastors in need. These ministers faithfully serve their communities but have struggled to feed their own families during this time. Raheem invited 15 pastors from various denominations to his home to receive a grocery kit containing essential items such as soap, rice, beans, oil, sugar, salt, spices, lentils, peas and potatoes. Joy filled the hearts of Raheem and his family as they eased the burden of these ministers.
For two months Pastor Geet was unable to conduct meetings or visit his congregants. As an independent pastor, he does not receive a monthly salary; he and his family are dependent on offerings for their income. They have had to borrow from others to manage during the lockdown.
“We as a family want to thank God for His mercy and express our thankfulness to Brother Raheem’s family, too, for helping us during this crisis,” Pastor Geet said. “I pray that God blesses you from above.”
Pastor Keshaun from a local Baptist church was also grateful for this act of love.
“I thank God for the groceries I received today,” Pastor Keshaun said. “Your church is doing a great work by helping people in this lockdown period. … You are being taught well by your church. We as a family want to thank your church leaders and the believers, and we pray for God’s blessings upon all of you.”
Like Menahem and Raheem, entire congregations have been putting love into action as they feed the hungry. The need is great but together these believers are impacting communities with the tangible love of Christ in the midst of difficult circumstances.