Previously, we wrote for help to adopt the poor village of Chinna Karagraharam. This initiative blessed some 550 poor families. They came on foot and bicycles. Thanks to you, the church was able to be relevant to the village. This was a video taken on 18-Apr in Chinna Karagraharam (We also posted an update on our Facebook page the next day):

Outside a church building, volunteers hand out supplies to the queue of appreciative villagers.

Since then, our attention was directed to more than 10 churches who have reached out to Ps Johnson for help. We were unable to reach them all, but these are the churches that we have managed to help:

  1. Church in Kanuru
    • Pastor Raju
    • 45 families
    • $20 for each family
    • Transport $20
    • $920
  2. Church in Jonnalavari Modi
    • Pastor Suresh
    • 56 families
    • $20 for each family
    • Transport 25
    • Total: $1,120
  3. Church in Pedda Agraharam
    • Pastor Immanuel
    • 60 families
    • $20 for each family
    • Transport $20
    • Total: $1,220
  4. Church in Navin Mittal Colony
    1. Pastor Yoodha
    2. 42 famlies
    3. $20 for each family
    4. Transport $20
    5. Total: $860
  5. Church in Thallapalem
    1. Pastor Padmanabham
    2. 48 families
    3. $20 for each family
    4. Transport $30
    5. Total: $990
Truckload of supplies that are meant for the churches in need.
Smiles. “Thank you very much.”

However, there are still many churches and people who are in need, and our funds and doners have dried up. How many rounds of $1000 can one give? Needs are everywhere locally in Singapore too. We have read about how fellow Singaporeans have stepped up to respond to the poor in our midst. I won’t be surprise that there is now a donation fatigue.

However, the needs of the poor continue to pile up. Two articles broke my heart. First, an Indian mother in Uttar Pradesh threw her 5 kids into a river after she fought with her husband over the lack of food. The poor may survive hunger for a while but not the stress from the cries of their children. Couples can function separately but not when they are on lockdown and blaming each other at home. Second, in Thailand, the poor and lower-middle class who have failed in businesses are breaking down mentally and committing suicide.

Before we could die of famine, the devil gets us through sin in the form of stress, despair, worry, depression, anger and violence. Singapore is nowhere as dire, but even my own youths are sharing how restless they are in this lockdown – and how that leads them into sin.

The Word of God becomes more relevant than ever now. The depth of our relationship with God becomes the key to whether we as a people of God will make or break. People of God must know that Covid-19 is merely the beginning. Worse times than now are described in Matt 24:21-22:

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”

Covid-19 is a smaller test for us, before we face the ultimate test. If we cannot even survive through this lockdown, how can we face the great tribulation? If we put what the Lord had already prophesied in the Bible into perspective, shouldn’t we even in our pain, wrestle till we overcome? For “he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Mat 24:13)

Still, I can’t help but lament for the needs of the poor in India that is seemingly within our reach. Surely, we could still do more to help? What if a family that could have been saved by $20 have their peace and lives robbed by the devil? Yet I must know – we would not be able to reach everyone in India. We aren’t people’s saviours. God alone is. The solution is also never solely found in money. I prayed for these Indian brothers and sisters that the Lord will find them, before the devil robs them. Lord, please.

Then, my wife Roxanne and I texted brother Johnson. He is on our heart. He is our brother. We are burdened to check-in with him on the larger purpose we must all remember.

Leo: “Brother, how do the Indian poor cope? They have been poor for a long time. When famine and disasters hit, how do they adapt?”

Johnson: “There are different kinds of answers.. people like social activists, economists, politicians etc, give different kinds of answers. As a pastor, my answer is Jesus said to help the poor.. The question is, “How long do we help them?” I think there is no answer in the Bible. My personal opinion is, “as long as there are kind people.” (Gal 6:9; Isa 58:3-14). When the funds dried, I think God has used us for that time. Let us see what God will do. It may be time to give the final call.”

Roxanne: “How can we make this sustainable? Are there creative ways to help? In Singapore, there are people who will pick up thrown vegetables. In ancient Israel, Ruth went to pick up grains off Boaz’s land..”

Johnson then described how the poor coped, including collecting the thrown-aways. But the problem with India now is everything is stopped. He then sent a picture of people he met who are going to fish in the pits to feed their family: “People are trying to find their own ways.”

At the outskirts of Machilipatnam, people are trying to fish in the pits for food.

Leo:  “I am grieving together with you.. I appreciate your response that at the end, we must recognise it is not us but Jesus.. We as mankind are a small part of His bigger purposes. Your answer tells me you understood that. Nevertheless, I am grieved, and I hope God will still open the barn house to tie them through this crisis. Do you recognise in end times, there will come a time worse than this? We must all be prepared.”

Johnson: “Yes brother, that is what I am speaking to my church now..”

Thank you for reading thus far. We hope this article blessed you to see Jesus too. God knows our hearts. May God find our  hearts and prayers worthy and meet our brothers and sisters in India in their need. Perhaps, He will open the barn house once more.

PS: If you wish to support this final push to help the poor in India, please text Roxanne @ 90016790 (also the Paylah account number to India). All doners are invited to join a Telegram group with Ps Johnson. All accounts are transparent and available for scrutiny of donors. Thank you!

India last update? A Lament for the Poor and a final push for funds

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