India (MNN) -- Coronavirus containment is complicated in the world’s second most-populated nation. More coronavirus coverage here. Health experts say India hasn’t reached its COVID-19 peak yet. India’s government is extending restrictions through June 30th in places with high infection rates. At the same time, malls and hotels can open up next week in some locations. Plus, “Domestic flights are opening up but international travel is not allowed in or out of the country,” John Pudaite of Bibles For The World says.
“It is a very confusing and complicated situation over there in India. The country has been divided into zones… and there are different sets of rules for each of those levels. Trying to navigate through all this is a very, very challenging time for ministries.”
Kingdom work continuesAs reported here, the pandemic worsened persecution for religious groups in recent weeks. Nonetheless, God is at work. Eleven new believers from a previously-unreached people group were baptized on Pentecost Sunday, Pudaite says.
“The work of the Lord, the work of the Holy Spirit, cannot and will not be quarantined; [it] will not be locked down, no matter what the government says.”
Palestine (MNN) — On May 15, Palestinians observed the Nakba, (translated literally, the catastrophe) commemorating when thousands of Palestinians, including a large percentage of Christians, were driven out of their homes in 1948. After World War II, world powers reorganized the borders of the Middle East without taking the populations into account. Thousand of Palestinians were killed or driven from their homes as the modern state of Israel was formed, and this refugee crisis has not been resolved to this day. Jack Sara of Bethlehem Bible College says, “It's a huge issue that somehow the Christians of the West either were not aware of or just had dismissed and thrown under the carpet.” The reason? Many Christian groups in the United States align strongly with Israel, seeing the country as fulfilling biblical prophecy. That its founding caused so much destruction and pain, especially to fellow Christians, is unsettling.
The catastropheSara describes what happened. “Over 700,000 Palestinians became refugees. And a lot of them became internally displaced people within Palestine and Israel. Or They had to flee to other countries. Many of them had to flee out of fear for their lives, yet a lot of them were evacuated out of their towns and cities and villages. Many of these villages . . . some were destroyed and erased so that people cannot go back.” This story is personal for Sara and other Palestinian Christians. Both his grandfathers lost their houses during the Nakba. “Both became refugees, somewhere. Thankfully, they were refugees within their own city. They moved from West Jerusalem to East Jerusalem. But many people had to flee to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as other countries.” Sara says these refugees settled in their new countries, but no amends have ever been made for their displacement.
Impact on the Palestinian Christians communityPalestinians Christians have a special connection to this sad day because so many of those driven out were Christians. Sara says, “At that time over 50,000 Christians became refugees, not just Muslims. Because people think that this is only a Muslim/Jewish thing. But over 50,000 of these 700,000 refugees were Christians.” Fleeing Christianse established many churches in Jordan and other countries, Sara says. But Palestine now longer has a thriving Christian community. Christians make up only 1 percent of the population. So many Palestinians still live as refugees, and anger from their displacement has led to several wars and continuous conflict in Palestine since that time. Pray that Christians in Palestine would feel the presence and love of Jesus Christ and that the Church there would grow. Thank God for what Palestinian Christians have done in countries like Jordan, building churches after the Nakba. Pray especially that violence in Palestine would end. The wall partially surrounding Bethlehem stands as a constant reminder of the Nakba. (Photo courtesy of Bethlehem Bible College on Facebook)
International (MNN) -- It’s difficult to continue ministry during a campaign. Not only are donations down due to global economic challenges, but some of the resources people need to continue their efforts aren’t accessible when everything’s shut down. That’s why it’s so critical that Mission Cry provides resources to their partners on the ground around the world. “We have sent to Pakistan free Bibles to seminary students and children,” says Mission Cry’s Jason Woolford. “We've sent Bibles and Christian books to seminary students in orphans in India.” Now, they’re also preparing a shipment of materials for Uganda. The container will be filled with millions of dollars in Bibles and discipleship materials for believers in the area. In addition to their typical work, Mission Cry is providing more uncharacteristic practical aid. “We fed last week 1000 people in India of seminary students and orphans that have received the Word of God from our ministry, and this week, we're getting ready to feed over 1500 people, orphans and seminary students as well,” Woolford says. However, moving forward with ministry has required faith. “I have sent containers on faith,” Woolford says. “We fed people in Pakistan and India on faith, trusting that those that are listening are going to come alongside.” Even some of the containers Mission Cry has sent already aren’t fully funded. But Woolford believes this radical situation calls for radical faith. It also calls for a global body of Christ working together. Specifically, Woolford asks for your faithful support. ”The Holy Spirit is made up of long-suffering kindness, joy, peace, patience, and love,” he says. “And God knows in heaven that we all need that at this time. So I pray for you listening, that as you honor God in living and giving to Him, that He will meet every single need that you have in the spiritual, physical and financial realms.” Support Mission Cry directly right here. Header photo courtesy of Mission Cry.
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