As we look back on June, our directors in Bangladesh and northern India share a few stories of the hundreds of families and thousands of individuals they have provided with life-saving food packets during lockdowns.
In Bangladesh, our local coordinator Pastor Darpan* shares about a couple, Padma* and Bakul*:
This couple has some land on which their home is built. They have one son, aged 15, and an older daughter who got married but was divorced by her husband because her father could not provide the dowry. So, this family has four members, and only the husband earns a regular income. Bakul is a day labourer; he sells his physical labour to earn money for the family’s food. His wife, Padma, also helps him take care of their family if she gets any labour work.
As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis struck all over their district…many people’s futures were dark and this Hindu family wondered if they would get relief. Her area is under water due to Cyclone Amphan, and the water is still surrounding her house. The relief package enabled them to meet their needs for 14 days. Padma has given her heartfelt thanks to the Almighty.
“These goods were such a big help for our family because I didn’t have any work, and my husband couldn’t sell his labour because most businesses had stopped operations.”
Pastor Hamid*, our Kashmir director, shares these stories:
1. Gajra* is a mother of three. Her husband is a disabled person who goes begging while she does some tailoring work at home. Since the lockdown, the family has had no means of support to buy food. They were running short of food, and feeding the children was becoming a struggle. Gajra says,
“You people have come as God and given us this support. We are so thankful now that we have food.”
2. Mr. Rabar* is a 45-year old with four children. He says,
“I am an auto painter. During this lockdown my family members and I stayed hungry for several days, and neighbors gave us rations for some days. The government has not given any relief or ration to us. I am a daily labourer and below the poverty line, but I am not listed in the government records, so I was not able to get rations from the government. Now I thank Pastor Hamid and the team, who have given hope to live for me and my family. They provided us one month’s ration. Once again I thank them from the core of my heart, and I thank our living God, Jesus Christ, who gives us strength.”
3. Saavi* is a widow from northern Kashmir who lives with the support of her only son. Her son is a hotel cook, and since lockdown they have had no income or support received from anyone. They were struggling to get rations, and for the last few days they had not had a full meal. Our support with the dry ration kit helped them survive more than a month, and helped them to come out of the lockdown. With tear-filled eyes she thanked us for the support.
4. Zamir* is an auto-rickshaw (three-wheeled taxi) driver living in the city. His only source of income is from the auto-rickshaw, with which he transports passengers in his area every day. However, due to the lockdown he is unable to go here and there with his auto. With much gratitude he says,
“Now I do not have to worry for three weeks, and I am very thankful for this support you have given.”
Suraj*, our coordinator in Bihar State (northern India), shares:
1. There is a married lady with four daughters and one son who is from a Hindu background. They were a happy family with her husband. But sometime back, unfortunately her husband died and her cruel in-laws threw all of them out of the house. She was not educated enough to get some job. Meanwhile this virus and lockdown came, mounting their problems. They were struggling in their life when they got a gift of food packets. It brought a great relief and some happiness among their sufferings.
2. There is a middle-aged lady named, Radha*, a Christian convert. She was a poor maidservant. Her husband was a drunkard and did not support the family. They have four daughters, and they had lost their small jobs. Their slum house owner was also harassing them for rent, and they did not have sufficient food to eat. In such a crisis situation, it was a great help and relief that they got a food ration packet with sanitizing items.
3. There is a Muslim family whose husband died about five years ago, so the widowed wife is living with her three children and handicapped father-in-law. She was working as a maidservant and earning a very small amount to survive. On top of that, this pandemic came and she lost her job, as people did not allow her to enter their houses. The family started struggling to survive. In such a pitiful condition, our team reached her place and she got the relief packet for her family. It was a great support for them.”
Your support and our missionaries’ hard work made this possible! You can help them continue their life-saving work by donating to our Summer 2020 Giving Match.
*Names changed for safety