In mid-May, we shared with our audience about the spread and devastation of the new COVID-19 (Delta) variant in India and offered opportunities for you to help. Your generosity abounded, bringing comfort, healing, and even joy to some very dark places.
Now, India is moving toward recovery. When we wrote about the crisis in May, India had just announced their highest numbers – more than 400,000 new infections in one day. As of this week, those numbers have been declining daily to fewer than 40,000 new cases a day. If you were among those who prayed for India, you might pause for a moment and think about that. Remember your prayers, and rejoice in how the Lord has answered them. This is a dramatic drop from the May peak.
Your gifts abounded as well. About $90,000 went out from NCF Giving Funds to TrustBridge Global, which works with NCF to facilitate international granting. That generosity was met by gifts from international givers to amount to more than $110,000 in India relief.
Four ministries received your support. (Note that, because of severe persecution of Christians in India, we are not revealing the names of these ministries. However, if you’d like more information, you may contact TrustBridge Global.)
The first, a church in Northern India, worked through a collaborative emergency response organization, which has provided three months of support to more than 900 patients in one city and to 4,500 patients in a total of six cities throughout India. In addition to medical supplies, they have provided three months’ worth of financial support to patients as well as cash subsidies for necessary medicines.
A volunteer in this ministry described the reward of her taxing work. “Finding yourself in a situation where everyone is calling you and asking for help related to bed availability in hospitals, medical assistance … and oxygen cylinders/concentrators sounds scary,” she said. But she felt empowered. “[This organization] gave me the confidence so I could say to a COVID patient, ‘Don’t worry. I am with you, and I’ll arrange it for you.’”
A second ministry connected with 48 partner ministries to help pastors and congregations in some of the most hard-to-reach areas throughout most of the states of India. They covered the cost of health insurance for those pastors and other workers in the field and family support to those suffering job loss. They supported hospitals with medical supplies, and individuals by covering the cost of their ICU expenses.
A third ministry addressed the provision of medical equipment and protective gear but also worked toward food security for hard-hit, marginalized groups – commercial sex workers, released prisoners, AIDS patients, children’s homes, and other vulnerable communities. In these groups, 24,152 people have been fed so far. Others are receiving trauma counselling.
Finally, a fourth recipient of your funds launched a large COVID-19-relief effort. They recognized how the pandemic had hit Christian ministries, with thousands of people being affected and about 1,000 missionaries and pastors dead. The loss of these servants of God left many widows, orphans and other family members without care, not to mention the needs of those they had ministered to. Thousands of laborers and low-income people were also struggling to survive due to loss-of-livelihood from the pandemic.
This organization covered medical expenses for these families and is following up with other programs. Widows are receiving one-time payments of financial support as an initial step in their care. One thousand families are receiving packed food provisions. Children of these families and other volunteers who have struggled with online education and costs of tuition will see their tuition paid and receive smartphones and reliable internet connections.
A pastor in the state of Punjab lost his father to COVID in April, and then his mother became sick and was hospitalized for almost a week. This ministry provided support to maintain her oxygen levels at home. “We thank God for [this ministry] for providing an oxygen concentrator,” this pastor said.
A worker in the city of Patna reports her experience with a family whose son was hit with severe and lasting effects of COVID. “[This ministry] was living hope for his survival. God has sent you for me …,” the young man’s mother said.
You joined these workers with your gifts. You traveled with Christian workers throughout India by your prayers. And you brought healing, support, recovery, and an outpouring of thanksgiving. We praise God and rejoice with our brothers and sisters in India for your generosity and for the hands and feet of Jesus, the people in India bringing care in his name.