Updated: May 23, 2021
Sonia with children placed in Covid-19 isolation
Vijay and Sonia Madiki are remarkable Christian leaders. Just two months ago, while worshipping on a Sunday night with the church they help lead, the church was illegally raided, and three Christian men were falsely arrested and jailed for weeks. (Thanks to your generous giving the three men were able to be released on bail and receive continued legal representation as they await trial.) In more recent weeks, Vijay and Sonia have been personally persecuted by their countrymen. Incredibly, their faith remains steadfast.
When this persecution began, the Madikis and I decided not to mention them by name due to the threat of harm. But this changed this past week. Both Vijay and Sonia declared to me, “Please tell our all the people you can about what the pandemic is doing to our part of India. Please use our names please. We will face whatever future God desires for us, but people must learn of how tragic the situation is here in India.”
Here Vijay tells of the reality of typical families in India:
As you know 6 and more in one family lives in only one or two rooms and uses one bathroom. If one person got tested positive for Covid-19 and needs to be in home isolation for 14 days, it is impossible to be isolated and maintain social distancing. With families crammed into one room and children often having to share beds with parents or siblings, the risk of the entire family becoming infected is very high. Not only do they have to sleep, eat, and live in a small room, but they must often share toilets, bathrooms and kitchens with other residents. Social distancing, regular hand-washing and self-isolation are being touted as preventive measures by our government to tackle the spread of COVID-19. But for the majority of rural Indians, maintaining social distancing; following personal hygiene and self-isolation guidelines is extremely difficult for a majority of the population due to existing housing and sanitation facilities.
As a result of this reality, the church in Samalkot has offered their building to the community to help families (especially children) to live there in order to isolate from an infected family member for the mandatory 14-day period. Added to this, Vijay and Sonia have used funds (from people like you) to help purchase oxygen concentrators, nebulizers, and basic medicines to help Christians and community members fight the pandemic. With the help of other faithful Christians, they are providing hundreds of hot meals daily that are being distributed by government workers to families who are starving due to the pandemic.
Because of Vijay’s mentorship of hundreds of preachers in the surrounding areas, food and medical supplies are being distributed to nearby communities. Sonia’s leadership in SWAN, a ministry to help empower and train women in business, is helping to provide masks and much needed personal care for families who are living in and with this crisis.
Vijay with newly purchased medical supplies - thank you!
Just this morning, international global media share the harrowing reports of what Covid-19 is doing to the people in India. The BBC report:
India has been overwhelmed by a devastating second wave of the pandemic in recent weeks. It has recorded more than 25 million cases and 275,000 deaths, but experts say the real death toll is several times higher. Funerals around the country are being held from 7AM to 11PM every day.
Vijay and Sonia and the church they serve have even begun work with families to help retrieve the bodies of loved-ones who have died due to Covid-19 and help them to have proper burials.
India is in crisis. God has formed and is using courageous and faithful Christians to do his kingdom work. Please pray for Sonia, Vijay, their two teenage sons and all the unnamed Christians who live in Samalkot and Andhra Pradesh, India. They are putting their own lives at great risk to show and share the love of Jesus to the people of their communities and beyond.
Please give https://www.flowlivingwater.org/give As always, The Flow’s promise is that every dollar you give goes directly into the hands of Christians who are doing the work of Jesus.