Author: Pastor Jerry Park
COVID-19 MIDDLE EAST/SOUTH ASIA RELIEF EFFORT
The worldwide lockdowns have dramatically worsened the already precarious situation for refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and extremely poor populations in the 10/40 Window (non-Christianized world). Almost all have lost what menial jobs that they had held. Most governments in this region can barely take care of their own population, let alone the refugee and marginalized. Day-to-day survival has become a critical problem with families suddenly faced with the fact that they may not have food for tomorrow.
Thanks to a generous grant from a Christian foundation to our partner, World Compassion Fellowship (WCF), we’ve been able to start a major relief effort with 14 different Christian ministries/churches throughout the Middle East and South Asia. Together with our partners, we plan to distribute hygiene/food care packages to more than 11,000 families in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, India and Pakistan. Each package will feed a family of 4-6 for a full month. These countries are some of the least Christianized countries and where believers are the most persecuted in the world.
If you would like to read more on this effort, please go to this blog: https://wcfellowship.com/about-wcf/blog/post/covid-19-relief-proposal
- Please keep this relief effort in your prayers, as we want this to be a powerful witness of the love of Christ in action.
David and Leah continue their regular services now over Zoom, and it has been going well. They are also in contact with the Holocaust Survivors, who are healthy as far as they know. Thankfully, there are only a handful of cases of C-19 in their town.
One of their church members, Esther, is a caregiver at an elderly community of 120 caravans. The supervisor of the complex contracted the virus, but none of the elderly had so far. Esther was told to stay
home at first, but she said that “several of the people I care for are over 90 and they need me! I am not afraid! I want to go back to work!” They thought this was a selfless demonstration of God’s love and concern.
- Please pray for the safety of their congregation during the pandemic.
The Jurans have now been able to deliver groceries to about 55-60 families, to the elderly, and to Freedom House.
Children have had no school for about a month. The government has tried to get children to do online classes, but most families do not have internet access or computers. The government is preparing hard copies of lessons to be distributed. The Jurans are going to evaluate how they can assist students to catch up academically through their tutoring program.
It has been very hot and dry in Belize, with very little rain this year. The temperatures have been in the 100s. Unfortunately, some have started fires to clear land, and the fires are starting to go out of control.
- Please pray for God to provide food for families that are struggling.
- Please also pray that the fires stay under control.
The McKellers have been assisting impoverished church members and other people with cash for a variety of needs such as gas to haul water (roughly 40% of Navajos do not have running water) and food.
The McKellers and Theresa are staying in touch with their church children and youth via phone and texts. They are also posting sermons online, which has actually widened their normal church audience; and this has been a blessing. They are also praying about what to do for their normal summer children and youth camps, as things are still very uncertain.
- Please pray for the family of a young man who committed suicide— that they wouldn’t be led astray by the Native American “peyote” cult.
The Ildefonsos were able to distribute bread roll packages to 1,000 families in the community of Pila. They also sent 150 grocery packages to church members.
Figure 1: Food Packages
Their town continues to be under strict quarantine. The numbers of infected and dead have been escalating, and the Philippines now has the 2nd highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia.
- Please pray for their most impoverished church members who live hand to mouth.