On April 11, a church in Maharashtra, India, organized a free meal for around 1,500 impoverished men and women. GFA-supported pastor Hardik and his congregation, after obtaining permission from local officials, divided into teams to visit the local slums.
“We feel that it’s our responsibility to help the most vulnerable in time of need,” said members of Pastor Hardik’s church.
In another area of Maharashtra, GFA-supported pastor Shaunak and his congregation also distributed food packets to more than 210 people, including families of daily wage labourers, the homeless and others impacted by the nationwide lockdown.
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi apologized to the impoverished of India for making their burden of poverty greater, but stated in his weekly address on March 29th, “there was no other way to wage war against coronavirus.”
Alleviating 65 Families’ Burdens
Sixty-five families from three different villages were provided with essential items such as rice, soy, beans, lentils, potatoes, fish, salt, onions, soap and oil on April 8 in Tripura, India.
Together with local police, GFA-supported pastor Bahram and his staff organized a food distribution to help those struggling to survive during the lockdown. Families—many of which included widows—already burdened by poverty faced an even greater problem when the lockdown went into effect.
“During the lockdown period, I cannot go out for work, and I can hardly manage my family,” says Raga, a 42-year-old widow. “The [workers] are helping us, and I am extremely happy because we [can now] manage somehow.”
Another widow, Mahzarin, also said, “Every day I am struggling to manage the family needs because I cannot go out for work during the lockdown. In our time of need, the [workers] are helping us and providing us with some essential items. I am deeply thankful from the bottom of my heart to [them] for their love and care for us.”
Essential Items Handed Out to 50 Widows
On April 11, GFA-supported pastors in West Bengal gave essential food items to 50 widows and other individuals.
After receiving permission from local authorities, the pastors came together to organize a program aimed at providing for those struggling amidst the lockdown. Each family received 11 lbs. of rice, 2 lbs. of lentils, 6 lbs. of potatoes and a bar of soap.
One of the recipients, Jahanvi, said “My son works as a daily labourer, and I catch fish and crabs from the river for sustaining my family. But I cannot go out this time due to the lockdown. The timely help of the food items received from the church is a great help for my family.”
A member of the village council said, “During this untimely crisis, [the church] in my village stood beside us to help the poor families by providing them with food items. I feel very proud of them. I want to thank [them] for their great help.”