Pray As If This Were Your Family – COVID-19 Update

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Kate, Executive Director | Pastor Shalva*, Nepal Country Director | Pastor Peter*, Kashmir Regional Director – May 22nd, 2021

On May 11th, we sent an email asking for support in the face of the COVID-19 crisis in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. You gave.

As we post this, 50 families in Kashmir are receiving food packets for a month and between 400-450 people will have food for the next three weeks in Nepal. Funds have been sent for relief projects in the Indian states of Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Tamil Nadu. The next round of support will go to the Bhutan-India border and Bangladesh. Your gifts have and will continue to make a life-saving difference, especially when only $10-20 is needed to feed a person in need for a month. Thank you. 

Pastor Shalva, our Nepal Country Director, says:

"$3,000 can be used to help 85-90 poor families, and each family has a total of 4-6 members - that means altogether 400-450 people helped. This package includes rice, lentils, cooking oil, and other items like onions, masala, etc. It will last for 20-25 days according to the size of the families. This support will be a great help to people to survive during this pandemic. We are praying to help at least 300 poor families; as funds come we will keep on supporting them."

To give, send a check to P.O. Box 284, Grove City, PA 16127 with Covid-19 Relief in the memo. Or give online here:

Pastor Shalva, who has lost four friends – all pastors – to the virus in the past two weeks, continues:  

“Thanking you so much for your generosity; we could help the families running out of food in the church and neighbouring needy Hindu people, irrespective of religion, caste, or colour. The situation of the believers in the church in Nepal is getting very serious as the country has been indefinitely locked down due to the epidemic of Covid-19 in the last few days.

If a man in the church is infected with corona, it is almost impossible to take them to the hospital because the hospital is charging a huge amount and there is no space for poor people. They have to depend on prayer. I have to go to pray for them. I have no option left except going and praying for them.

I have come to know that throughout the country, many of the church’s believers and the communities’ poorest people and children are starving. With the support you sent we are helping as many as possible; somehow we can save them. There is nothing to eat in the houses of poor people and the family members, including the children, all are going through very difficult times. Nepal’s government is doing nothing – neither giving food nor providing free treatment in the hospital. Please kindly continue to pray for Nepali Christians and the poorest of poor people. Once again thanking you so much for all your love, concern and prayers.”

The situation in India is just as bad, and much worse, than the news is able to portray. Nepal and Bangladesh are moving in the same direction. So far, none of our monthly supported leaders have died of the virus – but, that will likely come, as many are ill right now. However, many who have gone through HB-supported pastor training, or who we have supported through one-time projects, or who have worked alongside our leaders, have passed away. I feel like I’ve gone back in history and am mourning and praying with people who are living through the Black Death.

Earlier this week, I was emailing with the India director at a large Christian ministry about the severe beating of a pastor in northern India. We then comforted one another over the situation in India specifically. He echoed what we’re experiencing – 

“I receive notices almost every week of pastors or leaders passing away from Covid. It has been devastating to the church and will be a longer-term issue for the church with this many leaders dying.”  

The only difference is that since the beginning of May, we get these messages every day. 

The suffering that Christian leaders are bearing as they act as support systems while also grieving and, in many cases, getting sick, is unimaginable. We will be working alongside traumatized people all over our network for years to come. As we meet desperate and immediate physical needs, I beg you to pray, not only in petition for healing and for miracles of the multiplication of food and oxygen, but also to mourn.

When Paul, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote of the need to mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15), and that when one member of the Body suffers, the whole Body suffers (1 Corinthians 12:26) he was writing to an already expanding global church. The author of Hebrews 13:3 tells us to pray for those imprisoned and mistreated as if we were with them in person. It is just as important that we mourn and rejoice with the global church as it is with our local church. We are called to it as believers. Pray as if these believers were your own children, spouse, or parents, or your local church members or pastor.

I’ll close with a message sent yesterday (May 20th) by Pastor Peter, our Kashmir leader. I encourage you to read more prayer requests from our leaders by visiting our Pray page.

“Dear prayer partners in Christ. We see the cyclone news of the masses desperate in South India. We watch the videos of missiles raining down between Israel and Palestine. We see the misery and death on a massive scale among our friends in Kashmir, as they wrestle with yet another strain of Covid-19.

Regardless of the politics and world-sized details of each of these crises, what I believe breaks the heart of God is the devastating impact these are having on individuals; men, women, boys, girls, moms and dads, sons and daughters, friends — all whose lives are disrupted and forever changed. As we tally the impact of a global pandemic, we could talk about jobs lost, economic turmoil, even shortages of toilet paper, but nothing compares to the loss of a loved one from this terrible virus, or tragedies like the families are experiencing.

This is our time, my brothers, my sisters! The world needs the salt and light we possess! We can be silent no more! Pray for our team that God will give us one more chance to proclaim His message to the unreached people.

I thank you for your kind support of food items for 50 families. It was a difficult time for us to go and distribute the food items because there is a hard lockdown, as every day 50 to 60 people are dying here.

As the song reminds us: ‘We shall overcome, we shall overcome’. God will bring again peace in the valley. Once again, thank you for your kind contribution during this hard time. Stay blessed.”

Pastor Peter

*Names changed for safety.

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