The coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruptions in daily life around the world, ranging from anxiety and loneliness to job loss and death. In Bangladesh, after the national government ordered severe lockdown measures in late March, the TWR Bangladesh team began hearing from leaders of radio home groups that their members, most of whom already struggle to make ends meet, were having a hard time providing three meals a day. Echoing others, one member told TWR, “Some days we have food, and some days we do not have any food.”
Similar to Bible-study groups or small house churches, radio home groups (RHGs) bring neighbours together to learn about God’s Word from TWR-furnished digital audio players. Although TWR is a media ministry and not a relief organisation, the local team prayed and committed themselves to helping people they minister to in any way possible. The local staff consulted with RHG leaders and area pastors to identify the most vulnerable families and then bought groceries and distributed them during April and May, the heart of the lockdown.
“We had rice in our house to last for only four days, and we would eat rice once a day due to the shortage of food,” one RHG member told TWR. “In the meantime, TWR Bangladesh came and stood by our side. They have helped us a lot and gave us almost everything we needed.”
Another wrote, “I am a day labourer and live from hand-to mouth. … I lost my daily income and did not have enough food for myself or my family. But I did not lose my belief in God, and by his grace, TWR Bangladesh surprised me with a food package.”
The bags of groceries, which included rice, lentils, oil, potatoes, flour and other items, were given to 709 families comprising over 3,300 individuals.
The blessings didn’t stop there. Pastor Lucas,* (*name changed for security reasons) who was helping TWR Bangladesh with the outreach, distributed bags to several RHG members and later was approached by 13 women who were not members but needed food. Pastor Lucas had to tell them the supplies were all gone. Hearing that these needy women had been turned away, the RHG members who had just received small bags of essentials for their own households gave whatever money they could scrape together to Pastor Lucas. When he purchased more food and called the 13 ladies to come back, they brought another 12 women with them. “Although though those packets were very small, we were encouraged that our radio home group leaders and members took the initiative to share their blessing with others,” TWR Bangladesh’s report about the initiative concluded.
Join with us as we pray for the work of TWR in Bangladesh. We thank God for the different ways members of the ministry have been able to bless their communities both physically and spiritually. As the impacts of Coronavirus are still being felt around the world, we ask that God would continue to provide for those in need.