IGO and the Coronavirus
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Written by India Gospel Outreach
Categories: Prayer & Praise
Praise God that He is in control and able to use Satan’s wiles, human sin and weakness to further His kingdom on earth.
The whole world has experienced the coronavirus pandemic, and India has experienced very strict measures. The government has set up Red Zones, meaning that no one within the zone can move outside and no one outside can enter. At this writing, the lockdown was scheduled to last until May 15, but in several places the lockdown has been extended.
Many people say the lockdown is much too strict. At this writing (May 12), 2,551 people have died of the disease in India, but this is a far cry from the 450,000 deaths every year from tuberculosis. Someone has said, “We are starving. If we don’t have food in our stomachs, what’s the use of observing this lockdown?”
At India Bible College & Seminary, IGO’s main Bible training center in Kerala, everything has been shut down since March. This March would have marked the 90th year of the school, and 4,000 guests were invited to the commemorative graduation ceremonies. But this plan did not materialize. This year, for the sake of safety, the graduation included only the graduates, faculty and staff. This same plan was followed in every other IGO-related training center.
IGO President Valson Abraham, who was on a ministry trip in India at the time, had to leave a month early to avoid getting stranded in India and unable to come home to his family. Since March 18, due to lockdowns, he has been unable to travel and minister in person, not only in India but everywhere else in the US.
Many evangelists and pastors have faced shortages of food and other supplies because of the emergency that has struck everywhere throughout India.
In the US, the pandemic has forced IGO office personnel to work from home. In addition, IGO’s writer/editor, Robert Martin, was sidelined for three months following two open-heart surgeries.
At the same time all these things have taken place, God has been at work:
- The government has required India Bible College & Seminary to open up its empty dorms to people under quarantine. The school must pay for electricity and cleaning expenses. But this requirement also presents a special opportunity to present the gospel and the love of Jesus Christ to hundreds of people in need who would otherwise not hear the gospel.
- Because of technological resources such as Zoom and the internet, Valson Abraham has preached and met with more people than he would be able to meet in person, all from his own home.
- The Easter service at India Christian Assembly of Los Angeles, founded by Valson Abraham in 1987 to reach southern California’s growing India community for Christ, was broadcast via the internet, social media and television. This church of 150 members reached 150,000 people through Facebook alone, from around the world. This figure does not include other social media and television avenues in India and other countries. Comments indicate that most of the people who tuned in were non-Christians. In every live online service, and later in pre-recorded televised services, many people called in to commit their lives to Jesus Christ and received prayer for various needs.
- Some Christian researchers are saying that this past Easter, because of an unprecedented number of online Easter services going around the world, more people heard about Jesus Christ than on any other day in history. Such publishers of Christian Bibles and Bible apps report sales 54-62% higher than just a year ago. Google reports online faith-based searches at their highest peak ever recorded.
- In India, a special fund was set up to provide food supplies for thousands of pastors, poor believers and their families. Christians have responded with great generosity to the need.
- The pandemic has prompted more than 5,000 churches of our fellowship in India to intercessory prayer. These churches now have 24/7 chain prayer to call on God for the country and for a special work of the Holy Spirit leading to revival in the church and spiritual awakening that touches every avenue of Indian life and culture. Churches are praying that the year 2020 will mark a radical turning point for the gospel in India. Since October 2010, Valson Abraham and India Gospel Outreach have cast a vision for 20/20 prayer to saturate India with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Pray that God will continue to use the devil’s tools to backfire against him as the gospel spreads throughout India and around the world during this time of crisis.
Pray for funds to enable India Bible College & Seminary to meet needs during this COVID-19 quarantine season, and that God will use this time to bring many of these people to Christ.
Pray that God will meet the needs of pastors and believers during this time, and that He will accomplish more for His Kingdom in India during this time than at any other time in history.