Navigating COVID Wave 2 in India
Global news has been full of reports from India about the deadly second wave of COVID to hit the country. The first wave caused massive consequences but the second wave seems to be even worse. Hospitals have been filled to the brim and oxygen is scarce. Our partners there working on planting churches in India call it a time of disease, death, distance, and difficulty.
COVID Among the Body
In the newest church plant, they have had as many as 15 people who were infected with COVID over the past few weeks. Only around 70 people total attend this new church plant. They say the hardest part of this season has been the distance they have had to maintain from one another because of the nature of the illness. But they prayed, fasted, and kept in touch with each of the infected individuals and their families around the clock. Some of them had extremely difficult experiences but we rejoice that all of them came through this time of illness by God's grace.
Deaths of Friends
Our partners working at this church plant say one of the most heartbreaking experiences of this season is to have lost very dear friends in the last couple of weeks. They have been devastated especially by the death of three men (all having young families).
We have cried and prayed much with their families and have struggled that we cannot be close to one another. The other great challenge has been that burials of the dead are not permitted in our area. Bodies are cremated and the ashes handed over for burial. This is a time when we have had to learn new lessons and find ways to stand by family and friends.
All ministry for this church network has been online over the last couple of months. Despite the uniqueness of the times, this is an area where the church leaders feel they have much to rejoice.
Remember the newest church plant had around 70 people attending before the pandemic. What is humbling is that:
- Their Sunday services are viewed by at least 1,000 people each week. What has also been extremely humbling is that many of them are in touch with the church regularly and have become part of the extended family.
- The kids church is viewed by at least 500 people each week.
- Bible discussions are attended by around 75 people attend each week on Zoom.
The church continues to do all they can to help the needy with emergency food supplies, medical assistance (they have a couple of doctor friends who have tirelessly helped treat people over the phone), counseling, and every possible assistance.
Pray for our friends in India as they serve. Also pray for suffering and confused people in India to find hope and healing from the one true God.