Please join us in praying for the people of India as the country continues to wrestle with the spread of COVID. No-one is immune from its reach and devastating impact, including our partner's team in India and their families; their pain and grief are personal and raw.

Whilst the UK news agenda might have moved on in recent days, the situation in India remains desperate for many. There have been a number of developments since our last update which we'd like to share with you.

Anita in particular needs our prayers. She has spearheaded many programmes for our partner in India over the years, and is recognized as a valued worker with real zeal, meeting directly with listeners as well as producing programmes. Anita had been unwell with COVID and was being cared for by her husband at home, and then he suddenly became breathless last week. He deteriorated very quickly and died in a matter of several hours, on 28th April. It is extremely difficult to make Christian funeral and burial arrangements due to the extraordinary demand at the moment, and the situation is fast-changing. Sadly, Anita was unable even to attend her husband's burial as she was desperately trying to find oxygen and hospital care for her son, who had also become unwell. Anita's only son - aged 29 - was eventually admitted to hospital on 29th April, but tragically he also died of COVID (on 1st May), leaving her a childless widow. One can hardly imagine her grief.

Nilu is a central figure in Feba's ministry in North India. Her husband has tested positive for COVID and is currently isolating at home. You can meet Nilu in this short video from Bob's visit to our partner's annual 'Learning Event' held in Rajasthan in 2019.

Jaiashree plays a pivotal role in the ministry in Kolkata. She herself is unwell with COVID and is also in isolation at home, having tested positive. You can meet Jaiashree in this short video - from the same visit in 2019.

Please join with us - and with the whole international family of Feba and FEBC - as we pray for our co-workers in India. Please pray especially for those mentioned above - together with their families, as well as for our partner's National Director, Pastor Bobby, as he seeks to lead the team and the ministry through this time of enormous trial. Pastor Bobby shared these personal thoughts and prayer requests in a call with Bob Chambers earlier this morning:

It is dreadful. People are falling like ninepins. People are dying because of the lack of oxygen - it is so painful to see.

Please pray for protection for the team and their families. Morale is low as we face these challenges. There is also some fear, as we now see that young people are dying. People are scared to look at WhatsApp at the moment, because there are messages of death every day.

Please pray that God would strengthen us - that we would have confidence in the Lord. Pray that our faith would remain strong in the midst of this suffering, and that our programmes would be relevant for our listeners - offering true hope and comfort.

Please do pray - and please feel free to share this ministry update with others as you see fit. Thank you so much for your faithful partnership with us in this work.

Published Monday 3rd May 2021