‘Compassion will triumph’ says missionary statesman as families across Asia ‘utterly desperate’
STONEY CREEK, Ontario — With the number of COVID-19 cases in India surging past five million and climbing rapidly, ongoing hunger relief efforts continue to stave off starvation across pandemic-ravaged Asia.
In some areas, hunger is forcing people to take the most extreme measures. One man was captured on video apparently eating a dead dog off the road.
“The situation on-the-ground right now is utterly desperate,” said Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder of mission agency GFA World, www.gfa.ca. “We’re doing all we can to bring relief and as difficult as it is, compassion will triumph in the end.”
Partnering with Believers Eastern Church in Asia and local officials, the Canadian-based ministry — one of the biggest faith-based organizations alleviating poverty in Asia — is distributing food kits to more than 70,000 families on the edge of starvation.
With the recent COVID-19 surge catapulting India into second place behind the U.S. in confirmed cases, parents in the world’s second-most populous nation and across Asia face the near-impossible task of feeding their children, amid total loss of income.
“The situation in our village is terrible,” one parent told GFA World workers. “We don’t have any work and are unable to provide food.” In Asia, sudden loss of employment can be catastrophic because families typically don’t have savings, welfare, or stimulus aid to fall back on.
Aid Comes Just In Time
Frontline responders with GFA World continue to deliver food kits to families in dire straits — often, just in time. Packages include rice, cooking oil, salt, sugar, and spices.
“We’re helping the most marginalized and at-risk people in the whole of Asia, including thousands of daily labourers who have no work because of the pandemic,” said Yohannan, a renowned missionary statesman and author of Revolution in World Missions, with nearly four million copies in print.
Like millions of the poorest of the poor, Nikita’s parents scavenge for recyclable materials and survive, literally, on scraps. During the pandemic, their work has dried up — and the family might have starved if they hadn’t received a food package.
The father of a student at a GFA World Bridge of Hope children’s centre said their package was a lifeline. “The lockdown totally affected our survival and we were broken,” he said. “(This food) keeps us surviving.”
Local churches across Asia — home to six out of every 10 people on the planet — have quickly mobilized to “seize the moment” and extend help to their poorest neighbours, said Yohannan.
“Our fervent prayer and hope is that people across Asia will see and experience the love of God in action during this pandemic,” he said.
GFA World, www.gfa.ca is a leading faith-based mission agency, helping national workers bring vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions, especially to those who have yet to hear about the love of God. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,800 clean water wells drilled, over 12,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 260,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.
PHOTO CUTLINE: BATTLE AGAINST COVID STARVATION: As India surges to second place in the country-by-country COVID-19 count, ongoing hunger relief efforts continue to stave off starvation across pandemic-ravaged Asia. Canada-based GFA World, www.gfa.ca is partnering with Believers Eastern Church to distribute food kits to more than 70,000 “utterly desperate” families.
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September 24, 2020