Dr. Daniel Johnson, leader of GFA’s medical ministry on the field, shared an inside look at how coronavirus is affecting national missionaries, Bridge of Hope children and several ongoing ministries across the 16 Asian nations where GFA serves.
“The lockdown has not suppressed the ministry, but it has actually expanded the ministry in different ways,” he shared.
GFA pastors, who haven’t been able to lead worship services, are staying connected to their congregations by regularly calling and checking in on families. They’ve encouraged believers to have “church at home” with their families and take part in daily times of prayer.
To keep our pastors encouraged, our ministry is using text messaging to send morning devotionals written by K.P. Yohannan, which are translated into many languages, including Kokborok (see picture).
Overcoming the Barrier of Illiteracy
In one region, two women who were neighbors to a pastor and his family overheard the pastor’s wife playing Gisela’s letter aloud. Intrigued and encouraged by what they heard, the women went over to ask for prayer.
Dr. Daniel said having Gisela’s letter in an audio format is overcoming the barrier of illiteracy, which is still prevalent among Asia’s women, and is planting seeds of Christ’s love in the hearts of those who may not have had a chance to know of it before.
“No One Should Be Left Behind”
Although GFA’s Bridge of Hope centers cannot operate as they normally would, some centers have turned into “community kitchens,” providing hot meals for families in their regions.
For many children who attend our Bridge of Hope centers, their main meal—or perhaps their only meal—of the day is while they’re at the center. Knowing this, staff are making sure their students have food to eat in the midst of this crisis. They’re also continuing to visit children and their families at a socially acceptable distance to encourage them.