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06/02/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – The second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit our brothers and sisters in India extremely hard. Pastors serving in rural areas have been particularly affected by the virus, due to church closures that have halted the tithes and offerings responsible for sustaining their livelihoods.

Last month, International Christian Concern (ICC) launched an appeal calling on its donors to raise funds to provide aid for India’s pastors. With the help of our local partners, ICC distributed emergency relief to 40 Church planters in India’s Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka states.

Since the beginning of May, Telangana state has banned citizens from leaving their homes outside of the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. On May 29, the pastors made sure to reach the distribution location as early as possible. Pastor Gideon of Northern Telangana told ICC that he travelled nearly 40 miles on a fractured leg to receive this aid for his family:

If I don’t take the pain of travelling to this place, I will have no food for my family,” he said, “thank you for this, this help is very critical for me and my family.

A second beneficiary of emergency aid was Pastor G. John, the only breadwinner of his family that before the pandemic had relied solely on church tithes as his source of income. Pastor John told ICC that his church had been closed for over a year, making it difficult to find food to feed his family.

The situation is so dire that it is like drought hit us so badly,” he said. “The help from ICC is the only hope that I have been waiting for, and today I am very happy to receive the food that can go for nearly one month.

Pastor Ahir also expressed his thanks to ICC donors, explaining that many pastors would have gone hungry without such help: “The only source of income for these pastors is their church members, many of these pastors would end up starving if the help from ICC would not have been possible,” said Pastor Ashir. “We really thank ICC for the help given to these pastors and thank you for the partnership.

Please join us in praying for our suffering brothers and sisters in India, and for the Lord to strengthen the Church during these difficult times. Please also pray for the health of all of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, that they would be healed by Jesus and remain hopeful in times of need.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: [email protected].