07/02/2021 India (International Christian Concern) – “I was in quarantine for nearly three weeks due to a massive infection of the virus,” Pastor Raju Krupaiah recently told International Christian Concern (ICC). “It was not easy for us as a family to sail through this difficult stretch. On one side, I was fighting against the virus. On the other side, I was thinking about how the family would survive with no food to eat.”
Pastor Raju serves as a church planter in India’s Karnataka state. When the recent deadly wave of the COVID-19 pandemic swept across India, Pastor Raju found himself sick, quarantined, and running out of food to provide his family.
“Right in the middle of the quarantine, I received a call from ICC staff,” Pastor Raju said. “I could hardly talk because of my breathing issues. However, this call was about the one thing I had been worrying about the most.”
On June 23, Pastor Raju received a critical food aid package from ICC as a part of ICC’s COVID-19 relief for India program. The package included rice, lintels, wheat flour, cooking oil and other essentials that will support Pastor Raju and his family for a month.
“I have never seen such a perfect example of faith in practice,” Pastor Raju said. “We have been going through a very difficult situation and people are thinking about us and responding with this great act of faith. This helped give strength to my faith. Thank you so much.”
After three weeks of quarantine, Pastor Raju has fully recovered from his COVID-19 infection. He is now able to hold online prayer services for the believers he oversees in Karnataka.
Across India, pastors and church planters are struggling with food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns aimed to curb the spread of the virus have also shut down the worship services and prayer meetings church leaders depend on to collect tithes and donations.
ICC will continue to service pastors like Pastor Raju as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect their livelihoods in India.