Help and hope in India amid COVID-19

By April 8, 2020

India (MNN) — Bibles For The World offers medical help to India alongside hope that only comes from the risen Christ.

Bibles For The World has been offering medical help to Northeast India since 1964, when they founded Sielmat Christians Hospital. It now has 50 beds and 70 employees.

How has the coronavirus affected them? John Pudaite says the team struggles to adjust; the hospital has never seen a medical challenge like this. “We’ve been directed by the state government to prepare an isolation ward for at least 10 patients. And even as we scrambled to follow with that directive, we found that the personal protective equipment, the PPE, is just not available through our suppliers. And the things that are available are coming through to us at very exorbitant rates.”

BFTW’s hospital in India. (Image courtesy of Bibles For The World on Facebook)

As the virus started hitting India, many expected catastrophic results. Pudaite says, “India, amazingly, despite being the second largest country in the world with 1.3 billion people, has a very low amount of positive cases registered. And I think we’re only number 27 on the list with about 4,300 cases. But we have seen this shoot up in the last week. We were at 1000 cases a week ago. And so it’s been increasing by five 600 cases a day.”

That’s less than in many other countries, but Pudaite says lack of testing may be the cause. The government enacted a lockdown late in March, which he says has been pretty well followed.

Migrant troubles

But under this lockdown, Pudaite says many migrant workers suddenly have no way of supporting themselves. Plus, the shutdown of public transportation traps them in the country.  “We have seen Christians responding to this is by helping them shelter in place, providing free rent or a roof over their heads, and also providing food for them, their daily essential needs.”

Migrant workers in India. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

This kindness has opened up many of these people to the good news of Jesus. Pudaite hopes to see this continue beyond the expected lockdown deadline of April 15. “We are seeing tremendous opportunity with certain people groups and certain faiths that have really shown an interest right now, as they see how the body of Christ is, is putting God’s love into action among itself and also extending it to other people groups and other faiths.”

How to pray

Pudaite encourages believers to pray that the coronavirus will not pit different religious or political groups against each other, especially Christians, Hindus, and Muslims. He says, “We’re praying for [the] peace of God to intervene throughout here and just spread across the country.”

Pray also that BFTW has the resources to make the necessary improvements to their hospital. Pudaite says, “We’re trying to get ourselves, not only prepared for this isolation work, but really seeing this as a need to set up a full-blown Intensive Care Unit in our hospital. . . This is a step that we really need to take.”

Most of all, pray that the Holy Spirit would protect His people and that He would destroy the coronavirus in India. For the PrayerCast video, click here.



The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai visiting the Coronavirus Quarantine Centre, after successful completion of their requisite quarantine period, at the ITBP Chhawala Centre, in New Delhi on March 13, 2020. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

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