The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every corner of the world and left in its wake damage and devastation to millions of people and their families. The hardships endured during the pandemic can be seen in the loss of jobs, livelihoods, severe illness, and even death. But the pandemic has also brought hope in the form of help, and a realization of what it means to be in Christ’s global church family.
When the Delta variant swept through India in early 2021, churches and church networks were burdened with the great need to take care of their pastors and members. Feelings of hopelessness and discouragement rippled through church communities as leaders struggled to guide and shepherd the thousands of people who lost jobs and their daily wages.
As Indian church leaders voiced their plight to BILD International’s Michael Vos and Jeff Reed, the necessity to help India’s church networks was realized through another BILD church network.
Michael Vos, CEO of BILD, said the idea came about after a meeting with top Indian church leaders shared about their churches’ discouragement during covid. Jeff and Michael then shared these prayer requests with top leaders from another country who then decided to implement BILD’s executive education training they were receiving and be an encouragement to the Indian networks by raising a financial gift to send.
The execution of the idea was not without obstacles. Michael shared that to even transfer the money out of one country and into the other couldn’t be done. Transferring of the money was very hard and against the system. Network leaders managed to figure out how it could be done, but it also put many individual families at risk.
With the facilitation of BILD and Michael and Jeff, the equivalent of 600,000 USD, was given to Indian church networks over the course of several weeks.
The gift to help the Indian churches would not have happened without BILD, the vast network of unified leaders in the other country, expert businessmen who understand the vision, and network leaders in India for the distribution of the gifts to people, Michael said.
“We all were united in the idea that when Christians in one part of the world are really struggling, we felt an obligation to help,” Michael said. “Only the Spirit can bring unity, but BILD brought it to the forefront and said this is what we need to consider.”
To be at the forefront in facilitating the exchange of this gift, Michael said he has given these networks the sense that they’re collectively responsible for each other and that they truly are a global family.
The response from the Indian church networks were filled with gratitude and thanksgiving. Ration kits were distributed to pastors and families in different parts of India and included food and basic necessities that would last some families almost a year. In one network, nearly 20,000 people were provided food kits. To see needs being met during covid brought hope to many and gave them a sense they could move on.
“During this covid crisis, we have never expected that God would help us and open the doors for us to serve so many thousands of people,” A.P. Sagar Singh Bhukya from (BBPT) said. “I want to thank [BILD] and all others who have walked along with us. We are looking forward to many more opportunities in the future so that we can share the love of Christ.”