On behalf of NICM, I want to take the time and words at the beginning of this newsletter to personally thank IDES, Parkside Christian Church, Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, Eastview Christian Church, Martha and as well as the rest of our supporters for making this tremendously difficult crisis bearable and livable for so many poor families in and around all of our Churches. Each of our pastors thank you. Each of the beneficiaries of your support appreciate your kindness for not letting them go hungry. Our family, staff and volunteers here at NICM recognize your passion for serving, which has allowed us to partner with you and serve the needy as well. It has been honorable working in North India with you as our supporters.
We want to send over our newsletter update about the situation over here, and how NICM has had to adapt to new circumstances. It goes without saying that each one of you has had to adapt to new circumstances along with everyone in the world who has had to do the same too. No doubt, like with everyone else, the COVID-19 has affected all of us in different ways.
First of all, our Sunday services have taken a new turn, as all of our pastors are sending in their recordings of their messages to their Church members. They do this for Sunday services as well for other times throughout the week during regular Bible studies. WhatsApp has become a common digital avenue for sharing messages. WhatsApp is easily accessible even on low-budget phones and requires very little data connectivity. However, we have now more than ever found use for our solar digital panels. We want to thank GNPI for their innovative ideas and generosity in giving these to us.
We continue to spin the wheel of our prayer chains, as it has become necessary to use our time to communicate with God so that he can continue to hear our prayers and requests. All of you are always in our minds while we pray for your safety, the safety of your children, the safety of your mothers and fathers along with the safety of each one of our brothers and sisters supporting us in all of our Churches. NICM represents the Kingdom of God here in this part of North India, and people need us for their spiritual, physical and emotional nourishment. With your help, partnership, loyalty, support, prayers, passion and long-standing commitment, we have been able to help people and are continuing to do so.
We have distributed 395 out of 500 bags so far. Out of the 395 bags, Pastor Beera Masih, Jagmol and Jagtar Masih have provided a month’s worth of rations to over 30, 40 and 30 families respectively. Many families are immensely thankful for the help we have accorded them. Moreover, it has strengthened their faith in the power of the lord in that he always provides. Due to lack of food available for sale in Rajpura where Pastor Jagtar serves, he only managed to pack a week’s worth of snacks and supplies for the time being. With time, he will make sure to deliver a month’s worth of rations to these families. From Pastor David Roshan Lal’s Church, we have a short testimony from a man who used to work as a cleaner of gutters but later found it in his heart to also volunteer at the Church. Moreover, David Roshan Lal also helped distribute 45 bags of food and medicine to our evening school located in his village and associated with his Church.
Very recently, NICM had also traversed in and around the local city to distribute snacks and food to areas most severely affected because of COVID-19. In fact, we focused on migrants who were walking on foot with their wives and children back to their villages far away. It was quite a pity to see them walking on foot without transport. These migrants were truly vulnerable, as traveling long distances makes them susceptible to crimes. We stopped throughout the different parts of the city to help and pray with these migrants while providing them with some supplies for their journeys.
Testimony of Sohan
“If you look at me, no one would think much of me. I do not care much for the pleasures of this world anyways. I was born a simple man and was always thought that I would die a simple man. I served humbly cleaning all gutters in the villages, and I was content with that little I received to support for my wife and daughter. My wife is a housemaid. After the virus hit us, lowborn folk like us were the last on anyone’s mind. No one dared to help us, as no one wanted to be seen associating with the likes of us, as we were of humble birth. For generations, we were mistreated and bonded to low-wage labor. We got used to it. However, after God recognized my humility towards my work, he privileged me with the task of serving the Church in whatever little capacity that I could help. I was born with little, but he blessed me with more than I could handle. Moreover, the Church serves as my new family wherein everyone looks upon me and my wife and family as an equal. Thanks to the pastor, I do not have to see my family starve to death on account of hunger.
Now I have rations, thanks to the generosity of many who care for me at the Church. My loyalty is to Christ for the love he has shown me on the cross.”
Even more importantly, during this deadly time when very few from the other communities have stepped out or contributed towards the needy, non-believers have looked up to believers and are moved by the generosity we have bestowed upon them during this time of misery, joblessness, poverty, death and disease. Despite hostility and tension ensuing amidst religious groups between extremist majority groups and minorities, Christians have been able to cast aside any reasons or excuses that anyone could falsely accuse us through our acts of kindness. Even though many popular misconceptions have prevailed in India for decades against Christians, we continue to press hard for the cause of the Lord. Irrespective of how people will continue to think about us, we will always serve selflessly.
Our duty to Christ is to bring the message of his salvation to lost souls, and we will continue to serve the poor and weak till we die. Thank you for your support enabling us to carry out the will of the Lord here in North India. It is a difficult time for all of us, but our work here is incomplete, and the reward for our hope of our Lord and savior outweighs all the troubles we face in this life.”
Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burden, and this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Thanks & Blessings
Simmi, Suraj & Team NICM