Praises During the Pandemic
Dr. Valson Abraham
Praise God that He has “overcome the world” for the gospel of the kingdom in the middle of the continuing pandemic.
In John 16, just before Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples, “In this world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). On Good Friday, the disciples wondered if Jesus knew what He was talking about, but on Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene reported she had just met the risen Christ. Later, Paul would describe the cross as “the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
If we think in the natural, much has happened in recent months to discourage us. It is all hard to fathom. But over the last few months, we at India Bible College & Seminary and all the churches and ministries in India have trusted these words of Jesus, and He has faithfully delivered in unexpected ways.
The pandemic hit India harder than in the US and the West because India has more people and fewer resources to work. Also, the government has tightened the screws on Christian organizations in ways too complicated to describe now.
Yet the Holy Spirit is also at work, bringing people into the kingdom. From most states in India, we have received reports from evangelists and pastors praying for hundreds of people who placed their trust in Jesus Christ and found Peace and Healing. For obvious reasons, we cannot give detailed descriptions, but we want you to know that God’s power is not limited by the obstacles that human beings throw in the way.
Many people are discovering Jesus through regular online programming. This was not taking place until the pandemic. In different states, computer-savvy evangelists and pastors are producing online outreaches to many uncounted numbers of people not reachable until recently.
The pandemic temporarily shut down classes at India Bible College and Seminary when the government moved to use the dormitories as a COVID Care Center, but that has not prevented faculty members from teaching their students.
Before the pandemic, many faculty members were not computer-savvy. Now, 45 faculty members have taken crash courses on how to teach online courses to their students.
A growing number of men and women from many walks of life have indicated their interest in taking many courses.
The possibilities for these trained people to reach others for Christ by their online classes are staggering. Keep in mind that in India,
• 730 million of India’s people use the internet. That’s twice the population of the US.
• Nearly 450 million use smartphones.
• Information technology is one of India’s fastest-growing industries, doing more than $225 billion in business in 2020. Every year, that number grows.
Most of these gospel workers and potential workers have computer knowledge. Each student and a layperson has life experiences to reach a particular audience. Together, they have the potential to communicate the gospel to thousands of new and different groups.
This move to produce online training is not just happening at India Bible College and Seminary but also at IGO training centers in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Darjeeling, Mizoram, Gujarat, and Odisha. The result will dramatically increase the number of people from all walks of life reached for Christ in ways we did not anticipate even a year ago.
During the pandemic, online services have reached many hundreds of thousands that would not hear the gospel in any other way. This includes people in India as well as the Middle East and all other parts of the world. Many people have responded to these online broadcasts, showing hunger to know the truth. Again, this was not happening before the pandemic.
A three-day virtual Zoom conference brought together hundreds of pastors, evangelists, and other believers from 24 north Indian states in recent weeks. President Pastor T. Valson Abraham ministered the Word of God.
God is overcoming in other ways…
In different parts of India, top government officials recognize that Christians are the only people who “get things done” when it comes to acts of compassion. Only Christians get involved with patients who have dread diseases such as COVID-19. Only Christians pray and see their prayers answered. Christians can be counted on to fulfill their word. Such cases were reported from Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh.
As a result, grateful government officials have given special passes that provide authority to visit, pray, and offer help to those in need.
Large numbers of people are suffering and died in this pandemic, and this includes Christian pastors and believers. We still don’t know fully how God is working in and through the pandemic to accomplish His purposes.
Pray for an end to this pandemic, but while it lasts, pray that God will help us overcome the pandemic circumstances in ways possible only with Him.
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Father God, we acknowledge you as the Great Physician. Together we pray for every person who has suffered as a result of the pandemic that afflicts us. Comfort each person who grieves the loss of loved ones and friends. Give healing and provision for every need for those affected. Use this difficult period to learn how to trust you more and find you sufficient to meet every need. Redeem this difficult time in a way that glorifies you and brings blessings in ways beyond what we can ask or think. Only you can do these things. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.