Christians across India are facing two crises – increasing persecution, and the devastating impact of the coronavirus. Open Doors local partners are doing all they can to keep providing relief aid and encouragement to these believers in lots of different situations – and they need your continued prayers and support. All names in this article have been changed for security reasons.
Rupa, Pastor Raman and Aarti are Indian Christians who have experienced your love and support in different but difficult circumstances. They still need your prayers.
During the Covid-19 lockdowns in India, many of the poorest people couldn’t go out to work, leaving them with no supplies to live on. The government provided aid for some of the poorest families, but Christians were frequently overlooked. One of them, Aarti, shares, “We were so discouraged when they ignored us while distributing relief aid to all in the village.”
Thanks to your prayers and support, Open Doors local partners were able to provide Aarti and her family with vital food aid. She says, “I thank the brothers for travelling this far and blessing us with groceries in our hour of need.”
At the time of writing, your prayers and support have provided over 126,000 believers in India with vital food aid during the Covid-19 pandemic – but the need for aid continues as the coronavirus continues to spread through India.
When Rupa felt God calling her to follow Jesus and serve Him through children’s ministry, her father was extremely angry and refused to support her in her education. He even forbade her from reading her Bible and, when she was home for the holidays between studying, tried to keep her locked up in the house. But with the help and prayers of brothers and sisters from around the world, she has been able to continue her studies.
“We were so discouraged when they ignored us while distributing relief aid to all in the village.”Aarti
She says, “I fall short of words to thank your organisation that has come forward to help me. I am very much grateful for the sponsored support towards my studies and pray every day that God’s blessings be upon His people.
“I desire to be involved in children and youth ministry after I complete my studies. Even now I involve myself in ministry with the local church and share about Christ to anyone I meet. No matter how my father reacts, I will continue to serve God. I believe there will come a day when my father will rejoice over my decision as my Heavenly father rejoices.”
Pastor Raman was in his church when the building was set on fire by a group of young people who were bribed by Hindu extremists. He explains, “I tried to escape from the church, but when I did, some burning wood fell on me.”
“Our help is proving crucial. God is really using this work.”Heena
Thankfully, he has now recovered from his injuries, and your prayers and support have been able to provide him with practical aid, as well as a new sound system for the rebuilt church.
Despite this terrifying incident, Raman is committed to the ministry he feels God has called him to: planting churches in the villages around his town. “I know it can be dangerous. I also know that I might die. But I am not afraid,” he says.
Heena has been an Open Doors local partner for several years, helping believers in need of urgent aid – particularly during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Here she shares why she serves the persecuted church – and what your prayers and support mean to our brothers and sisters in need.
“This is often a question which I ask myself – suppose we were not there, what would have happened? It is, of course, very difficult to imagine. But we depend on the Lord. Obviously it's because of their faith that the believers are getting this help, and we are just a channel.
“So often the feedback I get is, ‘You really are an answer to our prayers. We really pray, we had really been praying for this support.’ They will be crying most of the time and they will be saying, ‘Our God is faithful and your presence has made this evident to us. Your presence with us has strengthened our faith.’
“So many times people share with us that they're almost on the verge of giving up their faith, but the support has strengthened them and brought them into a new, strengthened relationship again with God. So our help, thanks to all the supporters, is something which is really strengthening them. And it's proving crucial. God is really using this work.”
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.