“This is the kind of fasting I want: . . . Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless . . .. Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.” – Isaiah 58:7-8, 10
News about COVID-19 is bleak. The virus is in virtually every country. The numbers of those infected and dead continue to rise. Many of us in the U.S. are entering our sixth week of quarantine. We have exhausted our self-entertaining options and are dealing with personal struggles. Even as we cope with these daily stresses, we should keep in mind the horrific situation multitudes around the world are facing. As you heard last week, many people around the world are daily wage earners. Each day they don’t work is a day they don’t eat.
But . . .
God’s people in one North India movement are mobilizing to help those hit hardest by shelter-in-place restrictions. Below is a translation of a voice message received from *Sanjay, a national movement leader and Beyond teammate:
. . .We give thanks to Jesus Christ for today’s work! We left our house this morning at 7:00 because we had set a long journey for ourselves.
. . .We made 133 food parcels to give away. Each pack contained 10kg rice, 10kg wheat flour, 2kg sugar, tea, spices (coriander, turmeric, chili), 1l oil, 2kg lentils, and salt. We were able to take these rations to each place we visited.
We are very happy because God helped us with all this travel. It’s very hard to travel these days due to the coronavirus lockdown, but even so, we were able to be out all day without getting stopped by the police . . .. We were able to distribute food in four locations. All these people are so very poor. There are more than 70-80 house churches [families] in these four areas. As we hand out these food parcels, we encourage those receiving them to share with their neighbors . . .
Tomorrow, more such visits are planned closer to town, but *John and I will not go because other house church leaders have volunteered to distribute rations.
We thank the Lord Jesus for all the work that happened today. We also give God great praise for the prayers you pray and the help you give.
Then this dear brother in Christ expressed his concern for all of us! “We have seen the news about coronavirus in the US. There are so many cases there. How is everyone with our team and all those associated with you? Are they OK? We are worried for them and feel concern for all who care for us. Please let us know if anyone gets ill. We are praying for all of you.”
The beauty of this story is that these same leaders who are distributing food parcels to the starving don’t have very much themselves but share with others out of their own lack. Join us in praying for the 50,000 house churches in the North India Movement. Pray they will continue to wisely yet boldly apply Isaiah 58 to their lives. Pray that God would protect them as they obey, and that God’s Kingdom would greatly advance in these days.