When the lockdown in Asia first began, GFA pastor Iannel rushed to the store to buy provisions and was stopped by a huge crowd gathered in front of the store. Because of the lockdown, residents were only allowed to leave their home to shop for essentials during a small window of time each day. Pastor Iannel maneuvered his way through the crowd to the shopkeeper with his list. The shopkeeper told Iannel he would gather the items and instructed him to come back later to pick up his order.
When Pastor Iannel left the market, he ran in to Karrem, a 50-year-old man who attended his church. The men talked about the strange times they were living through and Pastor Iannel asked how Karrem’s family was coping with the pandemic and lockdown. Karrem told the pastor that he could not go to work because of the lockdown. Because Karrem was a daily wage laborer, his family lived off each day’s earnings and no work meant no money; no money meant no food. Pastor Iannel’s heart broke when he heard Karrem’s struggles. He prayed for Karrem and his family, that God would provide for them and carry them through this difficult time. Karrem left but Iannel remained, deep in thought.
Before he could return to the store to pick up his grocery items, Pastor Iannel met another member of his church, Prymo, who greeted him with a haggard face. The pastor knew this family was going through a very difficult time. Prymo’s wife had recently miscarried. The grief of losing their child was compounded by the hospital bill, which ate up their daily earnings. Now, with the lockdown, Prymo could not work to build their finances back up. Their family faced starvation. Everything seemed stacked against this hard-working man and his wife.
Pastor Iannel encouraged Prymo to keep trusting God through the difficult times. God knew his struggles and had a plan to help Prymo’s family. Pastor Iannel’s prayers brought relief to Prymo and gave him the strength to keep trusting God.
Pastor Iannel hurried back to the shop to pick up his items. When he arrived, he added 44 pounds of flour to his order.
After lugging the sacks of groceries home, Iannel called Karrem and Prymo to come over, and he presented each man with 22 pounds of flour to feed their families. The men were grateful for God’s unexpected provision and their pastor’s care and concern touched their hearts.
“God knows our hearts and minds,” Karrem said. “So, He sent the provision items through His servant. I am very thankful to [the church].”
Prymo agreed. “The church has helped us in the time of needs [when nobody knew] about our condition,” he said. “I am so grateful to the church.”
Both men’s faith has grown because of God’s help through Pastor Iannel. There are many more families like Karrem’s and Prymo’s who need help during these difficult times. Daily wage laborers, numbering in the millions, have been hit hard by the pandemic induced lockdown. GFA workers are meeting the needs of many people through food distributions. Local congregations are coming together to help each other with basic needs, much like the early church.
“And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”—Acts 2:44–45 (ESV)