EFM has a family in Bangladesh that has been making disciples and planting churches since 2005. We refer to them as A. and M. A. in communication like this for security reasons.
Here is how this family answered the questions I sent to our missionaries:
How is COVID-19 affecting those who live in the area where you live and minister?
- The whole country is now locked down from March 26. All transportation (bus, train, airplane, local buses) has been stopped. All markets except food, medicine and grocery are closed. Some of the central banks will be open only for two hours.
- Not more than two people can gather together or walk together. If someone violates the law, he will be arrested and punished.
- Most of the private clinics and hospitals are closed. Doctors and nurses are leaving or hiding themselves because they are in danger. The necessary testing medical equipment is not available in most of the hospitals. Doctors and nurses are in panic of health risk.
- Necessary medicine and medical supplies are not available. We cannot even buy hand sanitizer or hezisol (alcohol type liquid for hand wash) in the market.
- We do not know for sure who and how many people are infected with the virus. As we saw for the last two days, millions of people have returned into villages from cities. There was no room in buses, train or launch. People and people everywhere. If only one person was infected among them, then these millions of people have been already affected. The condition is going to be very worse soon.
- Most of the people have either lost their jobs or they voluntarily resigned from their jobs for the sake of life. Those who live on a daily income (most of our people meet this criteria), they are all in great danger. No money to buy food or medicine, and they do not know how long they need to be in this situation. No one even hiring people for work right now.
How is this situation affecting the ministry you lead?
- We cannot do our training programs. We have had to cancel all kinds of bookings on the train.
- We cannot visit the fields where we have ministry or do outreach as usual.
- Weekly family meetings have been cancelled.
- Bible literacy and tutorial programs for children have been postponed for unknown time frame.
What are some opportunities you are seeing for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those who don’t know him?
- We have created chat groups on Messenger for communicating with each other, sharing Bible verses, Biblical teaching, prayer requests, etc.
- People are now more serious about prayer. They have realized that only God can save us.
- Family fellowship has been created for some families or increased since they are to stay at home.
What are two or three prayer requests we can use to pray for you and those you lead?
- Please pray for God’s protection and healing. Pray that God would remove this Coronavirus soon and provide all necessary things (especially medical care and food) for our people in Bangladesh. We thank the Lord that so far no one of our Friends member has been affected.
- Pray that we, the believers in Bangladesh, can see this as an opportunity to share Christ in this crisis rather than an obstacle. Pray that God will open many hearts of the people to receive Christ, the ONLY way to eternal life.
- Pray that the unity among Christians be strong. Pray that our disciples, workers, missionaries, and pastors be safe and work hard for the kingdom.
While we are providing this special round of updates to EFM’s largest email list (due to the world-wide impact of COVID-19), we will continue, as always, providing brief praise and prayer requests from each contributing field through our monthly EFM Prayer Letter. This is the easiest way to get regular, brief updates from missionaries and national leaders. If you do not currently receive the EFM Prayer Letter, we encourage you to subscribe by clicking the button below.