From the first report of the Coronavirus it seemed that panic set in all around the world. Bangladesh did not have issues with the disease until early March. By late March schools were closed and lock down
began. Student missionaries received emergency phone calls with instructions to fly home on the next available flight. Bags were hurriedly packed and tearful partings followed. Students at Seventh-day Adventist Seminary (SAMS) were sent home for a two-week vacation which was then extended indefinitely. Banks have been closed, mail has stopped, and all public transportation has been suspended. Dhaka has been closed to traffic entering or leaving. Our two building projects completely stopped since our campus was closed to all visitors. This caused financial trouble to our day laborers who count on their weekly paychecks just to survive.
While eating breakfast one morning just a few weeks ago, the thought occurred to me that we were so blessed to have enough food to feed students and staff. My thoughts turned to the many families just outside our walls. Were they getting enough to eat? In a flash I was reminded of Chudney, a tenth-grade girl living in Gohara, just a mile down the road. When Tisha was in fifth grade the Pathfinders were instructed to go into our surrounding villages and make friends. Tisha soon became close friends with Chudney. She has since become a great friend with many on our campus and has been studying English with me once a week. As I continued to eat breakfast, I made a quick phone call to Chudney and discovered that they were struggling to have enough to eat. I asked if she could meet me at our gate in a half hour and I would see that she had money to purchase food. God told me to give her Tk 10,000 (about $116). Two days later she called me to say that she and her brother had gone to Hili to purchase flour and gave between two and three kilos to 75 needy families. I knew that within a week we would have to do it all over again. This spurred on a call to our Chaplain to arrange a special staff worship where we presented the needs of families living all around us. The response was overwhelming. Staff gave a sacrificial offering of Tk 27,000 to combine with Tk 77,800 given from America. Within two days, 131 families received Tk 800 each to help with their needs.
All of these things are certainly pointing to the fact that our freedoms are quickly eroding and Jesus’ coming is even at the doors. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
If the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart about helping needy families in our surrounding neighborhoods during this time of crisis, you can mark your donations “Needy Families”.
Thank you for your continued support for these much-needed projects!