INDIA — Gospel for Asia (GFA World and affiliates like Gospel for Asia Canada) founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan – Discussing those suffering unseen in the pandemic and how GFA workers are bringing them relief and aid and letting them know that they are seen and cared for in the midst of it all.
As the coronavirus pandemic has waged war on the world, numerous minority groups have suffered particular hardship, including Asia’s many widows. Throughout Asia, when a woman’s husband dies, she carries the shame of his death, along with the many responsibilities of her household. Cultural superstitions hold that a widow’s sins are to blame for her husband’s death. Because of this, widows are often shunned, forced to cut their hair short, wear mourning garments, and even leave their homes.
Widows become synonymous with bad luck, making them untouchable and invisible. With the added hardship of the pandemic, the plight of these women has been unbearable. But through the care and ministry of Gospel for Asia’s local congregations, these “invisible” ones have not only been made visible but valuable.
On April 24, a church fellowship led by GFA pastor Puskar distributed dry ration packets to 10 widows who were having difficulty meeting their daily needs and those of their families because of the COVID-19-related lockdown in their area. Pastor Puskar and other members of the church donated money to purchase food items for those in need. The widows were overjoyed, thankful to receive the rations packets and help from Pastor Puskar and the other church members.
One recipient, Adrika, expressed her gratitude, saying, “Thank you so much for this dry ration kit. I work in a small cashew nut store as a helper. I do not have work since the lockdown started in March and have been struggling for my daily needs. I would not be able to buy anything until I start going for work. I am grateful to you for providing the provision items to me.”
Pastor Nabhas also came to the aid of widows in his region during the lockdown. After conducting a survey to identify those with the most need, Pastor Nabhas and his family purchased and packaged fresh food items and spices. On May 6, they distributed them to six widows and one widower in their village. The widower, Kamadev, said, “I was very sad thinking that no one came to help me with my needs for nearly two months, but today I am so happy that our pastor came and gave me some dry rations, which is a great blessing. I want to thank God for providing me the food items in such a difficult time.”
A GFA Women’s Fellowship team in Nepal, under the leadership of Sister Madhuri, organized a gift distribution program on June 23 for International Widows Day. The women visited eight local widows in need, praying with them and distributing fresh mangoes, saris and summer blankets.
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the entire globe, causing many of us to focus on our own needs and suffering. But through the work of Gospel for Asia, those suffering silently are being seen and supported, bringing to life Jesus’ words in Matthew’s Gospel: “‘Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” –Matthew 25:40
Read another story on how the Lord is using GFA to bring relief to those in need during Covid-19.