We thank you for your continued prayers and support for the people of India who have suffer much during COVID-19. A recent interview with Protaysha Program Manager Jaishree, has allowed us to share this heartfelt update. Whilst in the midst of crisis, there was no public transport which
85% of the country’s population rely upon. Many Indians travelled thousands of kilometers before the COVID-19 pandemic in search of work. Because of lockdown, they were left with no employment, nowhere to sleep and no means of returning home. Thousands made the trek back to their villages by foot, many not able to even feed themselves on the long journey home.
If the devastation of COVID-19 was not enough, at the end of May, Cyclone Amphan tore through the coastal areas of Northern India leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. Entire slum regions were destroyed, with thousands left to seek shelter in abandoned buses and emergency shelters. With social distancing non-existent, the cases of COVID-19 more than doubled within 48 hours of the cyclone passing through. Hospitals and medical staff were inundated with infected people desperate for medical attention and aid.
FEBC teams and volunteers in India are reaching people through their radio broadcasts with necessary information and messages of hope. They have created many new programs to deal with the cyclone and teaching people to keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. WhatsApp groups, Facebook messages and other forms social media platforms have been inundated with pleas for help.
Jaishree shares the story of a diseased and bedridden man abandoned by his family. The team visited him, gave him a food parcel and prayed with him. He shared with them: “My only friend is the radio. How is it that a radio program loves people like me, when my own people have left me? Thank you for your kindness.” This heartbreaking story is one of thousands received by the team every day.
As hunger and food shortages become increasingly desperate, Jaishree and her team risk their own health and safety and take to the streets day after day providing food parcels to the needy listeners they have connected with. From the streets of Kolkata, to the red light districts where there is now no business, hundreds of families are in need. The team have been able to reach out to many providing crisis parcels packaged with love.
Pastor Piyas who works alongside Jaishree also shared that each day he goes out to the streets and returns with the same thought: “Yes God, I have done my best with the responsibility you have given me. Nobody should leave empty handed.” Many of his team use their own money to purchase additional supplies to ensure everyone receives a parcel.
Please pray for the team in India, for the people who are starving and displaced due to COVID-19 and Cyclone Amphan. Pray that listeners in the coastal areas receive the relief that is currently not reaching them because roads are blocked and lockdowns prevent our volunteers travelling. Pray that our radio programs continue to share God’s love, and that our on-air and online counselling teams can help ease the depression and anxiety of the listeners who are calling daily in complete despair. Pray also for the safety of our team who risk their lives daily to be the hands and feet of Jesus providing practical love and care to the people of their country.