JohnMcCollum, executive director of Asia’s Hope International, a cooperating ministry in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, has alerted friends of a situation in areas where their six homes are located in India. Below is his letter, with a request to pray and links for helpful information.
Since June 15, the areas surrounding our six children’s homes in India have been embroiled in deadly and destructive unrest. A popular uprising — and the government’s efforts to crush it — have left the region in chaos. Local activists demanding independent statehood for the Nepali-speaking Gorkhas have clashed violently with the state’s Bengali-dominated power brokers. Hundreds have been injured, dozens killed; buildings and vehicles have been burned to the ground.
Schools have been closed for more than 70 days. No one has access to the internet. Food is in short supply, and bands of violent thugs believed by many to be working on behalf of powerful political opponents have made traveling in and out of the region perilous.
A few days ago, we almost ran out of basic provisions, but thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of our staff, we were able to smuggle in rice, onions, and lentils to last for a few more weeks.
Our team and I have been monitoring the situation closely, and have been in regular contact with our leaders who, a couple of times a week, make a dangerous journey through lawless areas to connect with us via email, phone or video chat.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve developed a set of contingency plans that should allow us to protect our kids if any of the worst-case scenarios we’ve identified come to pass. For strategic reasons, I can’t share the specifics via email, but some of these plans would seem drastic (and, frankly, prohibitively expensive) in any other situation.
Please join me in praying for the following:
- Continued safety of the 125 children and 35 staff of Asia’s Hope India
- A speedy and peaceful resolution of this dangerous conflict
- The effective execution of emergency plans should the situation worsen
Please pray now. And please keep praying. I encourage you to mark your calendar or set reminders on your phone to pray for Asia’s Hope India at regular intervals throughout the upcoming days and weeks.
I also ask you to follow Asia’s Hope on Facebook or Twitter. We will share general requests related to the unrest on these sites. We will also contact you by email if there are any dramatic developments.
As Savorn, our Cambodian director always says, “When we work, we work. When we pray, God works.”
Connect with John via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.