India (MNN) — Encouraging news today from India – the South Asian nation just reported the smallest increase in new COVID-19 infections and deaths since mid-March.
The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the world’s second most-populated country. COVID-19 variants kept derailing the government’s attempts to control new infections and deaths. Secondary crises are emerging as a result; thousands of children have lost at least one parent to the disease.
Last week, experts said India could be approaching the “end-stage” of the pandemic.
“We monitor the situation in India closely because we have so much work there. We’ve been really glad to see things opening up in the major metros as the COVID numbers are going down,” John Pudaite of Bibles For The World says.
“Even in the Northeast region, we’ve seen it (the new infection rate) start to plateau, so we’re very encouraged about the situation there.”
Nonetheless, significant challenges remain for local believers and Bibles For The World. “We’ve lost seminary professors, missionaries on the front line; hundreds of pastors and Christian leaders have been lost to COVID,” Pudaite says.
“That’s been tough, and we know this is going to have long-term damaging effects. We see a leadership gap going forward.”
Pray for believers in India as they find solutions for the leadership gap. Learn more about Bibles For The World’s work in India here. “There’s a lot of rebuilding ahead. People are going to be put into positions prematurely because of the leadership void,” Pudaite says.
Ask the Lord to heal Mawii Pudaite. “My mother, who is one of the co-founders of the ministry, tested positive for COVID,” Pudaite says.
“She’s been more or less stranded [in India] due to COVID for almost two years. We finally made all the arrangements; an opportunity worked out [so] that she could fly back [to the U.S.]. She took her final tests and came back positive.”
This development makes the pandemic’s challenges in India “very personal,” Pudaite says.
“But we know that God is still in control, and so we put our faith in Him that this is going to work out.”
Header image depicts COVID-19 testing in Srikakulam, India. (Wikimedia Commons)