With India trailing only the United States in confirmed COVID-19 cases, an American Christian ministry is focusing efforts to keep thousands of "utterly desperate" families from starving to death in that impoverished country.
According to Worldometers.info, the U.S. leads all countries in total cases at 7.5 million. India, with a population roughly four times that of the U.S. but a substantially lower percentage of COVID tests/million, has reported more than 6.4 million confirmed cases.
Delivering food kits to more than 70,000 families suffering from hunger due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Gospel for Asia – based in Texas – is partnering with Believers Eastern Church and local officials in India in an ongoing program to feed and keep those families alive.
Helping in desperate times
As people across the Indian subcontinent have to resort to any means they can to avoid starvation – such as one man recently captured on video eating a dead dog on the side of a road – hard times induced by the severe effects of COVID-19 has called GFA to pour its resources into providing aid for those most afflicted.
"The situation on-the-ground right now is utterly desperate," GFA founder K.P. Yohannan proclaims in a recent press release. "We're doing all we can to bring relief – and as difficult as it is, compassion will triumph in the end."
The number of coronavirus cases in the second-most populated nation in the world – behind China – continues to escalate. With food becoming scarcer, more and more parents – without savings, welfare or stimulus aid as a backup – are losing their jobs so that many are in dire straits to put food on the table and keep their children from starvation.
"The situation in our village is terrible – we don't have any work and are unable to provide food," a hard-struck parent shared with GFA aid workers.
GFA to the rescue …
As many families approach the brink of starvation, GFA World's frontline responders are rushing in to save them from a tragic fate with food packages, including rice, salt, sugar, spices and cooking oil.
"We're helping the most marginalized and at-risk people in the whole of Asia – including thousands of daily laborers who have no work because of the pandemic," Yohannan reports.
Many of India's most destitute would have come to an early end with the worsening crisis – such as millions trapped in the same desperate predicament as parents of one child who have to scavenge for recyclable materials so they can survive on mere scraps.
"The lockdown totally affected our survival, and we were broken," the father of one student who attends GFA World Bridge of Hope children's center shared. "[GFA's food package] keeps us surviving."
Joining in the effort, local churches across Asia are mobilizing to feed their most needy neighbors in the spirit of the gospel.
"Our fervent prayer and hope is that people across Asia will see and experience the love of God in action during this pandemic," Yohannan concludes.
Photo credit: Gospel for Asia