I recently received an email from a Field Manager in India asking me to reach out to you, our faithful supporters. He shares:
“Dear Brother, I write in this hour of need to see if at all possible Australia can help. I know so many there pray and support, yet at this time the needs are great and our resources are low. Our teams are working long hours and are even giving from their own resources to support others, but I am personally seeking your help. The threat just keeps increasing. Government restrictions are still very severe. It’s incredibly sad for the millions of homeless and poverty stricken. We recently heard from a woman who threw her babies into the Ganges unable to bear the starvation.”
When I received this and read the online story my heart absolutely broke. The unfathomable decision this poor woman had to make really hit home. COVID-19 is more than just a deadly virus. My heart breaks too when I followed up this request and heard of more children and babies being left abandoned because their parents or caregivers have contracted the virus and are critically ill or deceased. In the slums of India this is a devastating reality and some of the hardest hit are the minorities, such as Christians.
The Current Situation
India has suffered severely with large numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases, thousands of deaths, and little medical support. Given the vast population and many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people who have no means to self-isolate or wash hands, the situation is still grim. Talking to my colleagues in Pakistan the situation is much the same where lack of food, shelter, health, adequate testing and other basic needs is great. Sadly, the enforced restrictions are adding to the distress of no supplies.
We are so blessed in Australia, where most of us have homes or apartments to self-isolate, taps to wash, food services that were quickly restocked and can even be delivered to our door, and access to medical testing and hospital support as needed. Millions, however, across the world have no safe home or refuge. As our situation improves, sadly the same cannot be said for so many abroad.
In other countries where we are ministering, such as Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East they are already experiencing famine, displacement and poverty, and COVID-19 has compounded the situation even further. Desperation and poverty do not go away in place of Coronavirus. Therefore, our teams are working tirelessly, broadcasting critical information, providing follow-up and counsel by phone and online, and even where possible giving practical support or directing listeners to other available humanitarian aid.
If this is not bad enough, our teams have also shared grave reports of increased domestic violence, due to the restrictions and rise in unemployment. Women and children are unable to leave their homes and abusive environments to get to places of safety and suicide rates are also increasing. I extend a request for your urgent prayers for our brothers and sisters globally living with so much fear and anxiety.
BUT, there has been shards of hope, rays of light as our messages sharing the love of Jesus shine through as a result of your encouragement, prayers and support. The teams
have received some wonderful feedback and testimonies as a result of their relevant, informative and uplifting broadcasting efforts during the COVID-19 crisis.