What does God’s love look like at a time of Global Pandemic

By Rev Matt Anker

At a time of global crisis your generosity has been a life changing blessing to many people struggling to survive the fall out of the corona virus pandemic. With employment and incomes lost, entire communities shut down, and no social security or savings to fall back on, so many people across South East Asia are […]

At a time of global crisis your generosity has been a life changing blessing to many people struggling to survive the fall out of the corona virus pandemic. With employment and incomes lost, entire communities shut down, and no social security or savings to fall back on, so many people across South East Asia are facing the likelihood of starvation if things continue.

But thanks be to God, through the donations of people like you to LCA International Mission, we have been able to offer a small amount of help for our partner churches to use as they care for those who are suffering in their communities. Together with other partner churches from around the world, we have bought enough rice, oil and eggs in the past month to feed an MCG size crowd! But the significance is not found so much in the big picture, as it is in the little stories of what a bag of rice means to people who literally had nothing else to eat.

Luke Andrew, head of diaconia in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Myanmar, writes, “During our first relief distribution, I went to a home of 3 elderly sisters. Their main source of income was a small grocery shop but due to the COVID-19, everything had to close off. When I went to their home around 6 PM, all of them kneeling down in prayers and after hearing our knocking, they opened the door. I said, we are here to share with you some relief materials and as they accepting rice bag & other materials, their faces were filled with Joyful smiles yet tears in their eyes. We didn’t ask anything but before we left, one of the sisters said to me which really touched my heart. She said, all our rice and other food are all gone and we have no means of income. We have no idea how we are going to eat tomorrow that’s why we were all in prayers (kneeling down) and asking God to help us. Even before ending the prayer (in the middle of it), God already knew our needs and answered our prayers. On that day, myself and one of the brothers from our church, we both were very tired from the whole day of relief distribution yet when I heard that, the tears of joy came out and I kept thanking God for His unfailing love.

As written in the Bible, God knows our need even before we asked. And most of the time, God keeps giving to us even before we asked.”

In the Philippines we’ve been privileged to be able to support church workers as the church could no longer afford to pay their very small stipend. In order to keep the ministry functioning at this important time, our gift provided pastors and deaconesses with essential food stuffs so that the ministry could continue. The president of the church, Pastor Antonio Reyes, has been quarantined with his wife 100km from home and so he has started a mission among poor families living along the railway. Some of these funds have also assisted these people with basic food provisions and bibles. (You can read more about President Reyes’ story here).

Tatachilla Lutheran College have been long time partners with the Lutheran Church in Krus village in Cambodia and had raised funds to help build additional kindergarten rooms. When they heard the way the community was struggling, they didn’t hesitate to free up those funds to purchase essential food supplies for the entire village – both Christian and non-Christian. (You can read more about Tatachilla Lutheran College and the Lutheran Church in Cambodia’s story here).

Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9-10

In Burundi where we support the fledgling Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church of Burundi with a scholarship each year, Pastor Emile Nkurunziza ministers to the most disadvantaged people living in one of the poorest countries in the world. With flooding and locust plagues already causing havoc, covid-19 was the final straw. With the gift of just a few thousand dollars the church has been able to provide rice and eggs to the diet of those who were surviving on the leaves of climbing bean plants grown on the church plot. Literally hundreds and hundreds of people in the mountains of Burundi have been blessed by your generosity.

The story is the same in Indonesia where support has been provided to the churches in the sprawling city of Permatang Siantar, as well as the rural communities served by the Geraja Kristen Luther Indonesia. In each case emergency food rations have been distributed, along with sanitation supplies to help limit the spread of the virus.

While this kind of Christian aid is not our ‘regular business’ at LCA International Mission, we could hardly turn a blind eye to the plight of our dear brothers and sisters who are suffering in ways we can only imagine. When asked whether the congregation in Cambodia thought food or class rooms were the priority at this stage, the pastor replied, “There’s not much point having class rooms if all the children die from starvation.”

We thank God for the way YOU have supported these efforts to make a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Life saving food parcels have been given out freely, to believers and non-believers without discrimination. But rest assured they have all received these gifts of love along with the clear message that we love, because God first loved us in Christ.


If you would like to support our partners caring for their communities during covid-19 restrictions, please click here

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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