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Author’s name withheld
India is among the top three nations in the
world that has been worst hit by the COVID-19
virus. Those of us living in the southern part of
India were put under lockdown for about two
months and then a variety of restrictions for the
last four months. At first the police came down
hard on quarantine violators by beating with
bamboo canes those who ventured out into the
streets. Normal noise levels came down to an
eerie quiet for those two months, something
we had never experienced before in our city.

The air was cleaner and the birds seemed
happier. On the other side of this scenario,
the country’s economy was hit hard and many
people lost their jobs because industry had
decreased production. Restaurants, general
stores, gas stations, places of worship, virtually
all things were shut down. The only businesses
allowed to open were shops that sold groceries
and medicines.

It is sad that in the last six months we have
lost 13 people whom we have known for years.

We are not sure how many of them passed on
because of the virus, but we have never had
such a loss in a short period of time. Many of
our church folk have lost jobs, and some are
in a bad way financially. While we are careful
as to how we use church funds, we felt that
under the circumstances our church folk who
were really in need, especially senior citizens
and single mothers, were going to be helped
financially. Many individuals within the church
were happy to step in.

As a church we knew we needed to reach out
to the community. Initially, we were not exactly
sure how to do that. Then we heard of several
hundred migrant workers who had come as
laborers to our city and were trying to go back
Number 1, 2021
to their homes in different states because they
had lost their jobs. Their lack of food and basic
amenities was really pathetic. The government
was making arrangements for designated
trains to transport migrant workers from
southern India to northern India; however,
because there are many states involved, it
had to be coordinated to perfection. While
that was in the final stages of development,
the workers needed help and this is where
our church as well as many others stepped in
to help feed these workers till they could get
their designated trains. We thank God that our
church was able to provide over 800 meals to
these workers!
We, as a local body of believers, found a new
way to worship God collectively—online.

We have had many opportunities to minister
online both corporately as well as individually.

Praise God! I have been able to answer from
the Word of God questions asked by people
from different faiths. One common question
was about the end of time. Gathering online
has its benefits. First of all, people from
different states within India as well as from
other countries were able to join us for church.

In addition, many people who were restricted
or not allowed to attend church are now able
to join in. While my wife and younger son take
Sunday school in the Kannada language on
Saturday afternoons, my older son has Sunday
school on Friday afternoons. This makes it
convenient for children living in the Middle
East to come online because Friday is a holiday
there. While gathering online is convenient
under the circumstances, I believe the best
option is to be in church in person. We are
looking forward to reuniting with our church
folk in the very near future. W