The stories keep coming in of how your amazing support is providing for believers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are a few from Africa and Asia…
It’s a year since Covid-19 began its rapid and destructive spread across the world, bringing lockdowns and disrupting everyday life.
Everyone has been affected. But for many Christians worldwide, the pandemic has been yet another overwhelming challenge. This includes a struggle for food and essentials amid economic difficulties and aid discrimination. Thankfully, your prayers and generosity have stepped in to provide urgent support for thousands of families, many on the verge of starvation.
Whilst there is cautious hope that life will return to some semblance of normality in the coming months, the virus continues to bring pain and disruption globally. For the time being at least, your support during the pandemic remains a lifeline for many Christians.
Here are some recent stories from Africa and Asia of the difference you are making to individual lives…
Felismina, in her 20s, is from Muidumbi in Mozambique’s troubled Cabo Delgado Province. Shortly after fleeing her home with her husband to neighbouring Napula Province amid an intensifying Islamic insurgency, Felismina gave birth. “The situation there is still terrible,” she says. “People are still getting killed. Just last week there was another attack.”
The family found a small home to rent but were without food, utensils and bedding – until you stepped in. “I’m very thankful for this help since we didn’t have blankets or utensils,” Felismina shares. “I left running and didn’t bring anything with me. I am really grateful!” The family is one of 327 mostly Christian families in the area served recently with vital aid.
The timely support has given Felismina hope that her wider family can also be helped. “Many of my family are still there in Cabo Delgado,” she shares. “Now I can call some family members to join me because they are suffering a lot and don’t have anywhere to sleep, or anything to eat. They have nothing. They eat only cassava and sometimes go to bed without food.”
The chaos and grief caused by instability in the Cabo Delgado Province is heightened with the ongoing economic impact of Covid-19 lockdowns. It means an additional 2,000 people may still need support.
Last year, your incredible generosity provided food for 283,000 believers throughout Asia. And as 2021 has got underway, you haven’t stopped coming to their aid.
Two believers from Southern Philippines – whose names we’ve changed to protect their identities – share their appreciation for your support. “I am so thankful,” Linda says. “I don't have rice at home because my child is not earning anything, yet I have received help today. God heard my prayer yesterday. I thank God for everyone.” Matthew, a tribal believer, echoes this gratitude: “I am thankful to Open Doors for supporting us and helping us through giving us these blessings. God will bless them in return.”
Sattak is immensely grateful
for your support
Elsewhere in Asia, Weim ministers to the unreached Betawi people group in Indonesia. “Open Doors often helps us, motivates us,” he says. “Moreover, they pay attention to us and give us aid. It truly helps with our economic needs, especially for ministers like us. I hope Open Doors will consistently help the ministers of God affected by Covid-19.”
And in Bangladesh, Sattak says, “I am a member of the Redeemer Church. My home is in Sirajgonj. Due to the flood and the coronavirus, we were in a food crisis. Now, we have food. To those who sent this food – Open Doors partners in Bangladesh – we thank them a lot, and we thank the Lord.”
Praveen and his wife Shanti – whose names we’ve also changed to protect their identities – are from India. They became Christians after God healed Shanti when a local pastor prayed for her. But their new faith led to hostility from the wider family, who refused to give up land that Praveen had inherited.
Consequently, the couple set up their own shop, but it didn’t make a profit. When the pandemic arrived, bringing lockdown, it was a struggle to even put food on the table. Their sons couldn’t work as daily labourers, either. So they prayed, fervently.
"I pray that will God bless you all abundantly, as my family has been blessed" 'Praveen'
Praveen takes up the story. “As an answer to our prayers, your organisation has come to our help and provided materials to refill the shop. Now the shop is running well and is a stable income source for our family. We can pay our house rent without a struggle and meet all our basic needs.
“Throughout the uncertain times, God’s Word kept reminding us, ‘Trust in me and I will deliver you and be your provider.’ And God has been our supplier. Today we have customers coming to the shop and we are able to refill the groceries too – all because of your help at the right time.”
“I am so grateful for the kind help,” Shanti adds. “I pray that will God bless you all abundantly, as my family has been blessed. I believe many will be blessed through you. My deepest and warm gratitude for each one you.”
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.