Nazarene churches in India serve during pandemic surge
The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in India are breaking world records, with the total reported number of deaths exceeding 215,000 and rising. Deaths have nearly tripled in the last three weeks and reached more than 3,600 in the last 24 hours. The true death toll is believed to be much higher.
The dramatic surge in cases has overrun the health care infrastructure; both hospitals and crematoriums have run out of space, and there is a critical shortage of oxygen. The surge in cases and deaths has also slowed the country’s vaccination rollout.
Nazarene churches in India have been actively involved in distributing aid since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago, ensuring that hundreds of families have food and supplies. Most recently, the project began distributions for 500 families. This has become particularly important during the surge. While it is vital that people maintain proper safety measures, it also means a significant loss of income. Those who are living in poverty have even fewer resources than usual.
The Reynolds Memorial Hospital, a Nazarene entity started in 1938, is providing frontline care to patients with COVID-19. The Church of the Nazarene is mobilizing support for the hospital by providing oxygen and other urgent items. The surge in cases has impacted this hospital, too, and staff members are working extremely hard to treat those in their care. About 16 of the staff have also been infected and are being treated at the hospital themselves.
Lazarus, a district superintendent in India, is recovering from COVID-19 along with four members of his family. The support from the Nazarene church helped them with steep medical bills, and he said that he would like to continue the work by showing love to others in need.
“Please continue to pray for me and the church in India and all of our leaders,” he said. “Especially pray for my country to get the safety under God’s protection and to get a healing touch.”
Large portions of the population have lost their income during the pandemic, making it nearly impossible to count on essentials like groceries and housing. Support provided by churches alleviates some stress as communities strive to make it through the loss of income caused by the pandemic. This includes supporting pastors, who aren’t receiving their normal pay while churches are closed.
Pastor Pratik tested positive for COVID-19 in April, along with his parents. He says that the support from the church was a great help.
“I seek your prayers for our country,” he said. “I seek your prayers for our pastors and the families who have lost their dear ones. Please pray for the whole country.”
How to help
Pray for those who have lost loved ones, and pray for those who are trying to find medical care for their loved ones. Pray for the staff at all the hospitals, including Reynolds Memorial Hospital, who have treated an increasing stream of patients for weeks. Pray for those who are ill, that they would be healed and recover quickly, and pray for the spread of the virus to slow. Pray for those who are most vulnerable during crises, especially senior adults, individuals with disabilities, and people living in poverty. To send a prayer or note of encouragement, go to ncm.org/pray.
Churches and individuals around the world can provide support through the COVID-19 Response – India. Donations will be used for immediate health needs.
To send donations by mail:
In the U.S., make checks payable to "General Treasurer" and send them to:
Global Treasury Services
Church of the Nazarene
P.O. Box 843116
Kansas City, MO 64184-3116
Be sure to put 136096 in the Memo area.
In Canada, make checks payable to "Church of the Nazarene Canada" and send them to:
Church of the Nazarene Canada
3657 Ponytrail Drive, Mississauga, ON | L4X 1W5
Be sure to put 136096 in the Memo area.
For any other country, give through your local church or district, designating your gift to COVID-19 Response – India.