Cecilia, It is a kind of report back and information about the situation and of course, news of what your help has done in this heartbreaking situation.
Corona Virus is itself a Big News. And yet God has His ways. No doubt He is greater than anything in the world. A new list of vocabulary: Positive (which is actually a negative), Quarantine, Red Zone, Orange Zone, Green Zone, Lockdown, containment, vaccine, Hydrochloric…immunity, social Distance, home quarantine, Face Masks, Sanitizer, Vitamin C. etc are now have become common man’s day to day language even among us the illiterate Indians, most us here are. That is really a surprise.
Most of us are angry with Novel Corona Virus.
But…. Good things have happened too. To mention a few….
1. At least momentarily the evil of the " caste system" is almost dead. These days of the war against this Virus, the caste feeling has almost disappeared out of sight. Everybody feels a family. An example….
The sewage cleaners (called also as the scavengers) in India, are mostly the low caste community. Due to Corona Virus their services are much in want and they are pressed into operation night and day. These, from their end, have taken it as a challenge for the sake of the suffering humanity and are working heart and soul to do this hard job and - a risky one, with pride and passion.
And as a result at several places the low caste scavengers’ community, as they are called, is now looked at as gods. To this effect, interesting things are happening. The high caste leaders and rich people and the Brahmins who serve in the temples have lowered down themselves to wash the feet of the scavenger community who were really addressed by the society as of today, the untouchables. They are garlanded and showered with flowers and gifts are presented to them and to their children for their timely service. Never ever heard a thing of this sort in all of the history of India.
2. Giving and Sharing: Most of the time Indians are branded as “a getting people and no giving people”. But now this scene is reversed. The haves and the have nots, come to the doorsteps of their neighbors with help and charity unasked. Either in the form of money or article and many even assist the government activities as volunteers without taking any reward or salary.
* a video went viral in which a lady police officer in a red zone saw an old woman dying of starvation. This officer ran to her help, washed her face, and feed her with the food which was her lunch box. She would not give a chance for her subordinates to assist her in this act, all by herself and with tears in her eyes. She was on duty on the highway in the Vijayawada city junction. very very busy one.
* Another similar video is of a doctor in a Corona hospital. She came to duty even though she has the option of being at home due to her recent delivery of her first child. Against everyone’s fear and displeasure she took the baby in baby-box and kept him under her doctor’s table and attended the corona testing very much an infection-prone place.
* Yes life stories….so many of them….
3. Cleanliness (Swatch Bharath) the word in the bracket is a Hindi (our national language) word which means “Clean India” This is the motto of the Mr.Modi (our Prime minister’s Government. Though the Government has expensed such a lot on this activity of cleaning India, nothing very significant has been achieved but now, go into and any small town or village there is a sensible sight of hygienic surroundings. Every single citizen seems to have woken up to a sense of cleanliness and is maintaining, fostering cleanliness on his own. Next time you come to India you will surely step on a “Clean India” Believe me to some percentage at least. Long live "Swatch Bharath”.
4. Traditional Churches are closed (Due to Lockdown) but the house churches have sprouted (Sprang up spontaneously) automatically. All on a single night, now, I, Arun Kumar have 182 house churches around here in this neighborhood. No exaggeration. Father, Mother, and children praying under their roof not only on a Sunday but DAILY. Alleluia. Nobody trained them, No one motivated them. they felt the dire need for God and they started to pray and then They phoned up to me the pastor and said “Pastor we are praying without missing a single day and feel God’s protection and provision”. Please joins us in the spirit from wherever you are. !!!. If possible call us by phone and encourage us. We are praying for you too.” It is now 65 days of lockdown, looks like a sweet experience of intimacy with God. Thanks to for the provision of getting the talking Bibles and thanks to the copies of bibles that were bought with your help to use in the house churches. Which tools have taken the turn of Pastors in spirit to these mushroom house churches
5. Fear of God, Thirsting for God.
As a pastor in the lockdown, I did think for a while how will spend the time without touring around and meeting people conducting special crusades. But at home I get a chain of people visiting my office almost every hour secretly with the masks on (Like Nicodemus of the night) come to meet the pastor, these are not only the Christians, non-Christians, Muslims. A sense of God, a sense thirst for God has risen from within among all groups of people in this troubled situation. In the lockdown so to say their soul has been free to fly towards God. Most of them accepted the Lord as Savior. I have a list of 55 people right now on my table. It is, it is a miracle of the miracle.
6. People look towards heaven rather them looking to things around. There is another sense of longing, unmentioned to go to the heavenly Home. On the one side people are disgusted due to difficulties and with suffering, How long is this?. When will we be normal? Why all these restrictions? As a result, they have started to search for answers. And thus an awakening into the reality of God. Faith in Jesus, belief in the existence of heaven our real Home, and a sincere longing has come upon them all spontaneously. Those who previously were taking heaven and hell lightly now they really are serious about it. I find more conversion of heart happening in these days of the threat. I could list a few real stories.......may later.....….
Your generous giving has given us Indians a role Model of the Christian life. The gift is in itself is praiseworthy. Most praiseworthy is the very act you of giving. This giving is sacrificial. It is a specially blessed one. Many people here ask me why do Brothers and sisters and the church of Cecilia are giving us help give when it is most needed for their children and their own country ?.
The act of giving is a virtue which is the fiber of Christianity. Such a big lesson has gone viral among us and has gone into the very heart of every person who was fed with the food during this season starvation. “I was hungry you fed me” is not just a preaching but an action and a committed action. Thank you, Cecilia. If not for your giving what would have been our condition……Our children… Our old people…. Our poor….??? We thank God each day for your this generosity prompted by the love of God.
Within a period of two weeks, four elderly mothers (ladies) died in my village all due to mal-nutrition and starvation. Nobody noticed them. Or nobody cared for them until the day of their death. In the end no one was ready to bury them. It was again Cecilia, your help that made a decent burial for these abandoned old ladies.
Now the children in the home are taken care of with three times of feeding with health and hygienic food. It is called a miraculous feed program. It is from your contribution
We also extended help to the faraway village pastors’ families who could not be present here by way of monitory help for 40 families of four to five members in each family.
They say that the providence of God dissented upon them. Again God is praised for using your efforts to help us.
We are still in the Lockdown. This 5th. The phase is extended up to 30th. Of June.
By any means, the Corona has overtaken us. Because cases are spreading faster. And India stands 7th. At the top. Deaths and positive cases are counted in a very high number each day.
In addition, the locust (wild) is invading the country eating away all the crops within hours time. The government is trying to fight this menace.
The poverty, misery, the malnutrition and the starvation are to remain for many more months is he reality.
The economy is flat on the ground. It will take decades to restore. Meantime the China and India war-like situation is mounting tensions with an imminent war between these two countries.
We have not ceased to intercede God for mercy. We beg you to plead for us with God too.
Thanks in full. Pleading for prayer. Aruns.
Some pictures… they are real….you can publish them for news….if you want. Arun
From India Missionary Pastor Arun Kumar