Krishna Adhikari, Director of International Nepal Fellowship (INF), shares how COVID-19 is impacting vulnerable communities in Nepal – and how INF’s vision of “Life in all its fullness for poor and disadvantaged people of Nepal” has stayed central throughout.
INF has always cared for the poorest and most vulnerable people of Nepal. Motivated by faith, hope, compassion and love, our response to the global COVID-19 pandemic is no different. Our staff and volunteers have been adapting to a new normal and rapidly changing situation, drawing back on INF's many years of experience as a first-responder in disasters to serve in our hospitals and communities, keeping our vision at our heart. It indeed is a beautiful manifestation of God's love and blessings in INF that we have been able to reach out to the poorest and most vulnerable communities before and even during COVID-19.
I could see and feel that there is a real hope that comes from Him even in the midst of everything.
Personally, it is the hope in Christ that has helped me to have a positive outlook amidst all the inevitable twists and turns, and to approach the problems and challenges in faith. Most nights I went to bed with the same worries, about the staff (those working in the front line, staff who were working in the field and their families etc.) and the community and beneficiaries we had been serving (that we were now not able to serve). When I woke up I would have the same feeling, like an unresolved story. We lost the excitement of the future and sometimes focused more on what can go wrong. A lot of things were not going in the right direction, there was fear everywhere, staff were panicking, people lost their energy and motivation and there was a need for me and other leaders to be even more kind to people and help each other. Going through the scripture and regularly spending time with God on a deeper level helped me a lot to rely on Him. I could see and feel that there is a real hope that comes from Him (Hosea 2:15) even in the midst of everything. Our leadership team practiced the same thing, which helped us to stand together.
I am reminded that the Lord is our shepherd; I shall lack nothing - Psalm 23. When the virus kept us contained in our homes for months it gave us a moment to realise how vulnerable we are at times like this. This has also allowed us to reimagine and weave towards a bright future for INF. We believe that the current crisis will reshape our societies and our ways of doing things for better.
The full effects of this crisis are yet to be seen, and some changes are already happening, unemployment, hunger, poverty, financial collapse, mental health issues and many more are the prospects. We are greatly concerned about the long-term impact that coronavirus will continue to have on vulnerable people and communities, who do not have access to adequate healthcare and, in many cases, even the basic needs. Now, more than ever, these communities need us. At this hour of great urgency, we are called to dig deeper into our faith, to be strong and very courageous, to show love and compassion for others and to have faith in spite of great adversity (Joshua 1:9). Our faith and work demands us to cultivate hope in us and for others. Hence, we look into the unwavering faith and lasting hope in Christ in serving these communities.
For the last 67 years, INF has leaned on God and his guidance and will continue to lean on to God for the future. The life of Jesus and how he ministered to the poor and outcasts encourages us to have such vision and burden contemplating, contributing to and creating a better tomorrow for everyone. We want to thank all of our partners for their generosity and those who have joined us in this journey of serving these communities. We hope that our labour won't go in vain and it will make a lasting difference. A hope that the harvest will be plentiful.