We all know that the Covid-19 crisis is a world-wide crisis.
Since we have strong links to India, thanks to Viv Penfold’s long-time involvement in the country AND since we aim to give at least 10% of our church income to missions, this week we have donated £1000 from the church to an appeal being co-ordinated by Missionary Ventures in India.
This money has come from our annual missions budget, topped up by a modest amount from the church Love Fund.
Missionary Ventures have a Field Administrator living on the spot in Hyderabad in South India, coordinating a network of Christian leaders and churches in the region He advises that the lockdown came very suddenly on 25 March and so most people had little time to prepare. Many workers are paid daily or weekly and with no Government ‘safety net’ in place, have no income now to provide for their families. Migrants in the cities are desperately trying to reach their home towns and villages but with little or no public transport they are being forced to walk hundreds of miles. Families are starting to go hungry. Covid-19 cases are on the rise but the healthcare and reporting systems are not great and the actual spread of the disease is probably greater than the statistics are saying. What is clear is that a serious health and economic crisis is happening.
The Field Administrator has identified 500 of the most vulnerable families aims to reach out to them with a package of essential food and hygiene items, including the inevitable large bag of rice! This is more than humanitarian aid. It will open doors for the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ by demonstrating His unconditional love for people.
The packages will be delivered personally and safely by local churches on the ground and will cost around £20 each. This is a charity that we know and trust extremely well and in which we can be 100% confident that donations will go in their entirety to the point of need.
Christians in one part of the world giving to meet the pressing needs of brothers and sisters in Christ living in another is a major New Testament scenario. As a church family we are blessed to be able to do the same in our time!