In Indonesia, when lockdown restrictions were imposed in Pastor Astin’s village to help stop the spread of coronavirus, she knew the needs of her community had changed. So, she adapted the support that her church offered to help those in need.
Pastor Astin started cultivating land so that she could grow vegetables to feed the community. She planted shallots, chillies, corn, tomatoes and cassava. Tearfund’s local partner organisation, Rebana, along with students from a local theological college, donated seeds to help bring this to fruition.
‘Everyone benefited greatly [from this] during the coronavirus pandemic, because we cannot leave the village, so this harvest is very helpful for the needs of the congregation,’ Pastor Astin shares.
Leading by example
As well as feeding the hungry, Pastor Astin has been helping to keep communal areas in the village clean by spraying disinfectant. She’s also signed up to lead support sessions that Rebana runs to help vulnerable and marginalised groups in the community. Through this, she is able to offer emotional and spiritual support to people who feel outcast and lonely.
‘Preaching does not always have to be in the pulpit, but doing an action is a living sermon,’ Pastor Astin shares.
Pastor Astin is just one example of how church leaders have continued to be salt and light in their communities during the pandemic.
For many of the countries Tearfund works in, the end of the coronavirus pandemic is a long way off. Church leaders are doing all they can to support their communities. Please join with us in lifting up to God our own church leaders, and those around the world, and give thanks for all they are doing in these challenging times.