Stories from the Mission Field

September 2020

Continuing to Invest in People

Beacons in India and South Africa

India is now the country in which the corona pandemic is spreading by far the fastest. After China, India is the most populous country in the world and it is only a matter of weeks before it replaces the USA as the country with the most infections. Of course, the partners of EBM INTERNATIONAL are also affected and there are many deaths in the vicinity of the projects. Nevertheless, very positive news like this one from David Sudhir comes to us time and again:

“We praise God for keeping us all safe and healthy. Although COVID-19 cases have been increasing day by day, people here have to do their jobs to feed themselves. In our region we have seen that especially older people have suffered greatly from the virus and some have died. Many young people have also fallen ill but have mostly recovered as we have experienced during our training courses in remote villages. On September 25th we were in the village of Kithamuri to conduct a training program for the cultivation of various plants. For many people in the village we regularly distribute milk and one egg to protect against malnutrition. Now we have received an additional donation for seeds to plant vegetable gardens. 60 families in the village have received a seedling for a guava tree, an almond tree and various vegetables such as eggplant, sorrel or pumpkin. Through the church of Pastor Jayaraju they now want to try to market their products in the village. So the small church can be a blessing for the surrounding villages. They are only nine members and do this church work under most difficult conditions.

In South Africa, where the virus is spreading most strongly on the African continent, personal contacts and thus community and training work are possible again under many precautions. Johann Vollbracht writes: “It was a special joy and also an answer to prayer that I can meet with students again this semester. I have formed eight small groups so that all meetings have taken place in a very small setting and with a lot of distance. This semester, students had to hand in assignments on the topic “What are current challenges in your local church?” While reading and correcting the assignments, I was very affected by what the students wrote about poverty: there are regions where unemployment is up to 70%. Many members of the community live in extreme poverty which has been exacerbated by Corona. It was moving to read how the communities nevertheless try to help each other and even look at their environment in the townships.”

As a mission we are impressed by how our employees continue to courageously do their work in the most diverse challenges of the pandemic. With all possible and necessary protective measures in place they are beacons for people who would otherwise receive little help, support, and encouragement.