Greetings from Kolkata, India. I praise God for all his blessings during the time of COVID-19. When the whole world is suffering, we are also suffering. Thank God that he did not allow much suffering towards us.
Choity and I suffered from a viral fever and it was very painful for us. By the grace of God we are okay now. Our Pastor, Profulla Hembram, and his wife also suffered for a little time. Thankfully, none of us had Coronavirus. I have started working in the office and surrounding areas again and our church started back in July. People are attending the service, but those who live a far distance are not able to attend.
Our lockdown started in the month of April and is still going on. There is a little relaxation now, but still some days we are totally locked down. The government decides those days.
During this time, we have had many Zoom meetings and prayer meetings with our staff. It has been a good time for us.
Distribution During COVID-19
There are many people working in the factories that have lost their jobs. Many companies and workshops are closed and workers have become jobless. Many people come to Kolkata to work in different houses or to sell vegetables. Due to the virus, the trains and buses have stopped running and these people have no way to come to Kolkata. They did not have any food for their children and family members. By the grace of God, we could help many families. We extended our distribution to Gosaba, Shyamnagar, Nazatt, and Kolkata. We gave them rice, lintels, oil, salt, etc.
There was a cyclone in the month of March. Many people in the coastal area lost their homes. Three of our villages (Gosaba, Bali, and Nazatt) were affected very much. Our churches also got heavy damage. Thanks to God that EFM came forward and helped us rebuild these homes. We distributed asbestos and bamboos to the people in our church area so that they may rebuild their houses. They did it. Thank God and thanks to EFM for the help.
There was a great cyclone in West Bengal named Amphan. Many houses were destroyed. Especially in the coastal areas and in Kolkata. Even the rooftop prayer hall of my house was blown away. Thank God that Dan Cammack, EFM Director, came forward and agreed to help the poor people. We helped 56 families rebuild their homes. Thanks to Dan Cammack and EFM!
Many people have died; many are still suffering. Many people have lost their jobs and they do not know what they will do in order to collect food for their families. There are many poor people in the area where our churches are. We have given them food and other things during this situation. We helped the people in Gosaba, Hooghly, Shyamnagar, Nazatt, Murshidabad, and Kolkata. Our churches now have a very good reputation and love from the local people and from the authorities. The people, especially Muslim people, who were against us are now favoring us. The road for the gospel has become easy. Below are pictures of rice distribution and the van used to take the materials.
After six months, we had our staff meeting on 25th August. The staff was very happy to be in Kolkata and join the meeting. Though we had Zoom meetings frequently, it was wonderful to be face to face.
I presented a short devotion on “lockdown” and used the verses from Genesis chapter 5-7. I described how the lockdown was a blessing for Noah. The staff was very happy and encouraged to get a new insight on this.
Then, the staff started describing how the Lord was working during this time. The outcome was very good. Together, around 200 new people came to attend our services and 22 of them are ready to make a public testimony of water baptism. Five new house churches were also established and one new worker was appointed. Praise the Lord for his blessings!
We spent a long time in praise and thanksgiving for the blessings of the Lord. Pastors Satadal and Subhankar led the prayer time. It was so blessed that all of us felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Then we had the fellowship lunch and after the staff departed for their own places.
Yours in Christ,
D. K. Sarkar
West Bengal, India