Six church leaders share how the generosity of Open Doors supporters has brought timely, lifesaving relief.
Radha* (centre) says, "I praise God for the organisation and pray that you’ll continue to be a blessing. Thank You"
The generosity of Open Doors supporters has enabled local partners to deliver emergency aid to 163,000 Christians in over 10 countries across Asia. The country that received the biggest share of relief was India, with 76,000 individuals (some 14,750 families) helped.
Amongst those served are church leaders and their families who, without tithes due to cancelled services, have seen incomes perilously drop.
Here are six testimonies of how your support has brought timely relief to leaders and their families…
“I am secret Christian. My husband is a drunkard who never works or earns. I have two children and in-laws to take care of. I earn by doing menial jobs and labour work.
"I thank the team for showing God's love..." Salomi*
“This lockdown has put me in a dire condition with no work or any other source of income to feed the family. I attend church secretly without my husband being aware, but this pandemic caused me to stay home. It is difficult to pray in the house when my husband is around.
"I thank the team for showing God’s love and praying for people like us and also giving chance for secret believers like me to testify about God.” – Salomi*
“I was born and brought up in a family that practiced witchcraft. My father was a god-like figure in our village and I followed in his footsteps. All that mattered to me was name and fame.
“Out of the blue, I suddenly became paralysed and mentally ill. I encountered Jesus who changed my life and turned it upside down. He healed me completely. God delivered me from all evil and called me to serve Him. At the same time, I faced hatred and persecution from my own relatives for accepting Christ.
“Ignoring all this, my family has become involved in missionary work among tribal people – but this lockdown left us in a helpless situation. Living far away from city and without resources to sustain ourselves, it was getting difficult for us. However, your team reached us with grocery help and it brought us a huge relief. I praise God and pray that you’ll continue to be a blessing. Thank you.” – Radha*
“We come from a Hindu background. While my wife was pregnant with twins, the doctors said either the mother or the babies will survive, which is when we heard about Christ and healing in prayer. By the grace of God, both my wife and twin babies are healthy and alive.
"But this lockdown has left us ignored by authorities..." Ramesh*
“We then accepted Christ and started to attend church, which did not go well with the villagers. The village head threatened us and wanted us to stop going to church. Blessed by God, our love for Him kept us strong and we still attended church. Later, the villagers threw us out, yet we did not lose our faith in Christ and we continued to believe in God.
“But this lockdown has left us ignored by authorities who were distributing relief essentials. Praise be to God for showing His grace and mercy by providing our needs. I thank the team for your unconditional support and help and enabling us to be a testimony for the people who look down on us.” – Ramesh*
“I thank God for the provision He made during this difficult time. A few years ago, as I was suffering from mouth cancer, I had to undergo a surgery and all my savings was spent on the surgery. Also, I could not work for long hours. My wife worked as a maid in different houses and that is how we have survived so far.
“But after the lockdown our situation turned desperate and we have no source of income. My daughter and granddaughter live with us and it was getting challenging to feed the family. As a family we look to God for provision and through the team our needs are met. I praise God for all the brothers and sisters who have supported us and prayed for us.” – Rakesh*
“This lockdown has hit me and my wife hard. We were in a helpless situation; my children are living in different states for work. They cannot come to us and neither could we go to them. Also, they are also not in a situation to help us. With no one to help us or look after us, I was worried.
" Seeing our neighbour struggling, we plan to share some with them too." Suresh*
By the grace of God, and His answers to our prayers, our needs have been met and we are so grateful to the team for the help extended to us. The grocery items that we have received are more than sufficient for two of us. Seeing our neighbour struggling, we plan to share some with them too.” – Suresh*
“I come from an Islamic background and ever since I accepted Christ I have faced trouble from my relatives. Being a widow [Areefa’s husband was murdered for being a Christian], it was getting difficult to look after my two children. You have previously provided me with sewing machine, and I was able to provide for my children.
“But due to the lockdown, my income has significantly come down, leaving us close to starving. While I was worried about our survival and praying to God, your timely and kind help has brought me and children great relief. Indeed, God is not blind to the faithful and the cries of His children. I am forever grateful to the team for extending support and prayers in extreme situations.” – Areefa*
*Names changed for security reasons
The 2021 World Watch List launch is a unique opportunity for MPs to hear about the plight of persecuted Christians in the 50 hardest countries to follow Jesus. Can you ask your MP to save the date for the 2021 World Watch List launch?