By Kamlesh & Ranu Bairwa – Good Samaritan Sewa Kendra, India
An area of Ujjain, where we serve, has been declared a red zone for COVID-19 infection. People are not allowed to leave their homes, but we have permission to distribute much needed medical supplies like masks, soap, and sanitizer, as well as food. As we deliver these items, we encourage the people with the love and peace of Jesus.
We’ve been able to help many like the Shekher family. Chandra owns a car and works as a driver. He cares for his wife, two children, and mother. Because of the lockdown, he has been unable to work since the end of March and has earned no money whatsoever. When we gave delivered a sack of groceries and prayed with him, he began to cry.
We are so grateful for your continued support so that we can help many more who are so desperately in need.
By Athanase Habimana – Union of Baptist Churches, D.R. Congo
We thank you for praying for us as we go through this pandemic period. In the D. R. Congo, we are currently in a lockdown period. No church services are allowed, so we are preaching over the radio. We also have teams that are sending messages to church members to comfort and encourage them. We have been able to install hand-washing stations so that people have access to basic sanitation. Below is a glimpse into our recent outreach providing aid to widows.
Tumusifu Safari is 88 years old. After her husband died in 1984, she continued with their farming activities. Over the last few years, she has become more frail and is unable to tend the farm. We were able to provide her with food assistance during this pandemic period. She was so thankful to receive our support! She said she will continue to pray until God ends COVID-19.
Rosa Bushala lost her husband in 2006. Since then, she has lived near her youngest son. Rosa helps provide for the family by selling coal. Though this does bring in a small amount of money, it is not enough to feed the family. We have been able to supply her with food and assist with her home rental fee. Rosa has been a believer since childhood. She is a singer and serves faithfully in our Hekima church. Rosa has always trusted that God would provide for her and her family and is grateful for the assistance she received.
By Julius Murgor – Pokot Outreach Ministries, Kenya
Thankfully, the Pokot people of Kenya have largely avoided COVID-19. Our primary concern is the future impact on food security. Travel is currently restricted, which prevents the flow of planting materials and seeds. This will have a tremendous effect on the food supply, not only for the Pokot, but all of Kenya. We hope to be able to facilitate the distribution of seeds and food relief throughout the Pokot in an effort to prevent a food shortage. Please pray with us that these efforts will be successful and that the Pokot people will be able to reap a harvest, both physical and spiritual, in their communities.
By Mutabaruka Aphrodis – Seira Community Churches, Rwanda
Thank you for joining us in prayer! Our church members are doing what they can to help others in their communities, visiting the sick and providing food for families in need. They keep leaders and each other informed as to what the needs are and how they may pray for each other. Since we are unable to meet in person, we have been holding conference calls twice each week to share the Gospel. So far, we have averaged 100 people on each call! More than 20 families were supported in the last two weeks through HIM. We want to share two of them with you.
The Muhirwa family became members of our church in 2012. Olive became a widow in 2014 after her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident. She is active in the choir and is in charge of taking care of visitors in the church. Her two sons are also involved in the children’s choir and attend primary school.
Olive previously worked in a printing factory, but has been jobless for the last six months. As you can imagine, life has been difficult. We have been able to provide the family with basic food supplies like rice, beans, cooking oil, and charcoal. Olive loves to give back by cleaning the church during the week.
Thomas is a leader of Rukumberi church. He and his wife have six children. Their life at Rukumberi is hard because they rent a house, which means they do not have a plot of land to plant crops. People is this area are very poor. Though the church is very active, they are unable to support their pastor. We are grateful to be able to help provide for them and are thankful for Thomas’ commitment to spreading the Gospel.
The Kerith Ministry family and our community would like to thank God for His protection over us and for using you to support us during this trying moment. In the midst of all the challenges that come with COVID-19, we want to let you know that we are doing well health wise and spiritually.
Through HIM donations, we have been able to support more than 300 families during this time with food, salt, and soap.
Halima (seen here with Mercy Mwesigwa) is a widow who lost her husband to HIV/AIDS. She lives a few blocks from Kerith in a grass thatched house with four of her grandchildren. We were able to help her with food that will last her two weeks. Halima has challenges to sustain herself and her grandchildren since she does not have a piece of land to cultivate her own food. Halima has taught us to have faith in the Lord even in the hardest times like these. Halima received Christ three years ago after having been a Muslim all her life. We ask that you pray for her that the Lord will meet the needs of her life.
We were also able to assist Goretti, a widow who lost her husband six years ago. Her family lives in a ramshackle, grass thatched house; and she singlehandedly struggles to educate and feed her three teenage children. I met Goretti during our community outreach on Parenting God’s Way for single mothers. Like many other widows, she cannot earn any money because of the lockdown. We were able to provide food for her family. Our long-term plan for Goretti is to employ her as a trainer of our teenage children, women, and single mothers in tailoring and sanitary pad making. We are trusting God for five sewing machines to be used in the training. If we get the machines, we will be able to train more women like Goretti.
Kerith Ministry is also providing counselling and prayer to families that are facing hard times feeding their families and paying bills. Others are facing domestic violence due the challenges in the families. Because of the restrictions of movement, we do this by making calls, and those we cannot reach by making a call, we make a short visit.
Kerith Health Centre is also providing medical support to people that are facing health challenges and cannot afford the costs. We have also provided free maternity services to the delivering mothers to help reduce the maternal mortality rate, which is on the rise due to the lock down.
We want to thank God for His unending love, care, and protection to all our friends and ministry partners.
New Fish Farm
We are excited about our new fish farm project. Fish production is the third largest income generating activity in Uganda. Over the last two years, we have been studying fish farming to see if our land is suitable and if it would generate both food for our children’s home and some income for self-sustainability of our ministry. Our findings gave us the encouragement to embark on this project.
We are employing locals to help in the excavation of the land and construction of the farm, giving them new skills they can use to provide for their families. Once the farm is yielding, we can easily move to a larger scale operation since the property is adjacent to wetland.
Our objectives with this project are to improve the living conditions of our community, to promote biblical values of work and conservation of the environment, and to contribute to the income of Kerith Ministry. To that end, we anticipate that we will sell approximately 75% of the fish raised, while the remaining 25% will be consumed in our children’s home.
By Rajendra Yellamelli – Sion Assembly Church, India
Because of the COVID-19 crisis, the government of India has taken the strict measure of instituting a compulsory 40-day lockdown of the entire nation. During this great hour of need, SAC has stepped in to offer relief services. Adhering to all safety and hygiene measures, we are safely providing food and water to people across our city of Vijayawada (with Government permission).
We have a team of chefs and other volunteers in place for cooking, packing, and distributing meals and water to people on the roadside, the homeless, and others in our city. We were forced to stop just a few days ago as virus cases are increasing, and government and police are no longer allowing us to distribute food packets. We will begin serving again as soon as restrictions are lifted and we receive permission from the police.
We met Kishore (seen here with some of our team) while delivering food packets. He is from Delhi and was working as a cook in a hotel in Vijayawada. The hotel has since closed, but he cannot go back to see his family because all transportation is shut down. He has been sleeping on the pavement by the roadside for 30 days. With tears in his eyes, he told us how happy he was to receive his food packet and that he is so thankful that we were able to help him.
I praise God for the safety and protection of our SAC families and SAC pastors. No one is stricken with COVID-19. Please continue to pray for us and the work we are doing in helping the people through this difficult situation.
Thank you so much for your prayers and your strong support to our people. We would not be able to do our work without your help. May God bless you for your prayers and support.
I write a lot of emails to many different people and find myself relying on a few familiar phrases in many of my communications. One I use often is “I pray you are doing well”. I, along with everyone at Harvesters, take prayer very seriously; and I never want to use the phrase in an insincere manner. We are indeed praying for you and encourage you to let us know if there are specific concerns that we can pray for on your behalf.
Also, we are sensitive to the reality that many people here in the U.S. are now facing great challenges because of the Coronavirus. Even as we have shared with you via email and Facebook the serious circumstances of the partners and people we serve internationally, we do so with you, your churches, and communities in mind and want you to be aware that our concerns include these as well.
We are very thankful for the generous gifts that have allowed Harvesters to provide food, lifesaving information, and spiritual support to many people in Africa and Asia. We plan to continue these efforts as God provides the needed resources and do our best to reflect the love of Christ in every way possible. Beyond that, we certainly have not forgotten the ongoing efforts of planting churches, equipping pastors, installing wells, caring for orphans, and all the other work God has called us to do daily. Our heart is to continue and strengthen these efforts, and we look forward to more progress in all areas of ministry.
Again, thank you for your prayers and support. Please never hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, need more information, or would like to let me know how we can pray for you.
Many of you know that our primary ministry is providing education and a chance to learn about the Gospel for improverished children. Beyond the children, GSSK brings God’s word to adults in home settings with small groups of believers. Here, we share with you the impact that GSSK has had in our community.
Parvati In Indian culture, girls are viewed as a burden. Parvati comes from a very poor family. Her aged parents arranged for her marriage at the age of 17. According to tradition, Parvati went to live with her husband’s extended family. There, she was tortured physically and mentally, beaten, and starved. One day, she was pushed into a barrel drum and left to die. On hearing this, her brother rushed to rescue her and brought her back to her father’s home.
She came to our school in total despair, asking for any job. We took her as a helper in our nursery section. She loved the job among these young children aged two to three years old. This helped her recover from the trauma she experienced. We helped her further her studies, even as she was working in our school. Parvati has since earned a Bachelor of Arts, then a Diploma in Education, and is now pursuing Montessori training which will be completed in 18 months. During the seven years since she came to us, her whole life has changed. Parvati, once very desperate and broken, now rejoices in her new life in the Lord.
We noticed that one of our students, Kajal, became worried and depressed. As we asked her the reason, she confided that her father is an alcoholic, comes home fully drunk, beating up her mother and creating scenes. We counseled her and prayed with her during our morning prayer sessions at school. We all began praying for her father and, eventually, we began counseling him as well. In the beginning, he was very angry. Ultimately, he became more responsive. Praise the Lord – he got out of the clutches of alcohol! Now he goes around his community telling people about the peace and joy he found in Christ.
We thank you for your prayers and support that make reaching people like these possible.
With over 300 churches and 200 pastors, UBC has seen tens of thousands of lives transformed through the power of Christ. In their own words, believers share their testimonies of His faithfulness.
Pastor Maisha Joseph I was born in Masisi village in October 1969. Before accepting Christ at age 22, I was deeply involved in sin – drinking without control and visiting prostitutes. I joined the rebellion group and became a soldier.
A pastor came to visit our camp. He preached the word of God from Matthew 28:19-20 and told me about the goodness of God. Five days later, I left the rebellion group and went to the village where the pastor had a church. I testified there of what God did for me – He spared my life! Just two days after I left the rebellion, 67 of my former colleagues were killed in an attack by the government army.
I totally believed in God and started doing the work of the Lord in the church. Two years later, I was married. I studied and became an evangelist. I have since planted nine churches, one of which I pastor. I thank God for everything He does in my life!
Janne Muzuka I was born in 1972 in Nyabibwe village. My mother died when I was two, and my father took another wife. By age 14, I began a terrible life of prostitution in a drinking establishment. I was used by the owner to make money for her, but was too poor to support myself. If I continued to work for her, I was able to have food and a place to sleep.
When I was 17, Pastor Habarurema came to my village and preached in an open-air meeting. His words touched me deeply. When he asked who was ready to repent of their sins, I was the first one. In front of everyone, I repented, but I was too well known by everyone in the village. They didn’t believe that I would follow Christ. The pastor arranged for me to move to Goma where I started my new life in his home. I am now 26 and married with four children. I am the president of the women’s group in our church. God has truly restored my life!
Andrey and Oksana are from a small village near Khabarovsk. Their small church family and the entire community know them as a very happy and loving family with three beautiful daughters. When Andrey and Oksana began to pray about taking in an orphan, their fellow church members and neighbors were dumbfounded. At first, no one supported them or understood why they would want the problems that could bring.
Andrey and Oksana were undeterred! They felt a deep burden to share their love and happiness with an orphan. Very soon, their hearts and testimony impacted their church, neighbors, and Andrey’s coworkers. Their faith was strong!
While they were praying, God was working. Kirill, a 9-year-old orphan boy, asked Jesus into his life. His prayer after he accepted Jesus was for God to bless his birth mother, whom he has never met, and for God to give him a family.
Kirill has attended our summer camp several times and was well known by another one of our foster families. Through these connections, he is now with his new family where he is well cared for and loved! His new family believes that Kirill will grow up to be a man of strong faith who will make a difference in their church and in their village.
Please continue to pray for HFL Homes in Russia. With your prayers and support, we seek to equip more Christian couples like Andrey and Oksana who will open their lives and homes to orphans.