When the lockdown in South Asia first began, GFA pastor Ibraheem rushed to the store to buy provisions and was stopped by a huge crowd gathered in front of the store. Because of the lockdown, residents were only allowed to leave their home to shop for essentials during a small window of time each day. Pastor Ibraheem maneuvered his way through the crowd to the shopkeeper with his list. The shopkeeper told Ibraheem he would gather the items and instructed him to come back later to pick up his order.
When Pastor Ibraheem left the market, he ran in to Kshantu, a 50-year-old man who attended his church. The men talked about the strange times they were living through and Pastor Ibraheem asked how Kshantu’s family was coping with the pandemic and lockdown. Kshantu told the pastor that he could not go to work because of the lockdown. Because Kshantu was a daily wage laborer, his family lived off each day’s earnings and no work meant no money; no money meant no food. Pastor Ibraheem’s heart broke when he heard Kshantu’s struggles. He prayed for Kshantu and his family, that God would provide for them and carry them through this difficult time. Kshantu left but Ibraheem remained, deep in thought.
Before he could return to the store to pick up his grocery items, Pastor Ibraheem met another member of his church, Pallab, who greeted him with a haggard face. The pastor knew this family was going through a very difficult time. Pallab’s wife had recently miscarried. The grief of losing their child was compounded by the hospital bill, which ate up their daily earnings. Now, with the lockdown, Pallab could not work to build their finances back up. Their family faced starvation. Everything seemed stacked against this hard-working man and his wife.
Pastor Ibraheem encouraged Pallab to keep trusting God through the difficult times. God knew his struggles and had a plan to help Pallab’s family. Pastor Ibraheem’s prayers brought relief to Pallab and gave him the strength to keep trusting God.
Pastor Ibraheem hurried back to the shop to pick up his items. When he arrived, he added 44 pounds of flour to his order.
After lugging the sacks of groceries home, Ibraheem called Kshantu and Pallab to come over, and he presented each man with 22 pounds of flour to feed their families. The men were grateful for God’s unexpected provision and their pastor’s care and concern touched their hearts.
“God knows our hearts and minds,” Kshantu said. “So, He sent the provision items through His servant. I am very thankful to [the church].”
Pallab agreed. “The church has helped us in the time of needs [when nobody knew] about our condition,” he said. “I am so grateful to the church.”
Both men’s faith has grown because of God’s help through Pastor Ibraheem.
There are many more families like Kshantu’s and Pallab’s who need help during these difficult times. Daily wage laborers, numbering in the millions, have been hit hard by the pandemic induced lockdown. GFA workers are meeting the needs of many people through food distributions. Local congregations are coming together to help each other with basic needs, much like the early church.
“And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”
—Acts 2:44–45 (ESV)