May, 2022, Kolkata – Earlier this year, a third wave of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) occurred, which exacerbated the blood supply shortage. As the number of blood donors has dropped sharply due to an increase in confirmed cases and vaccinations, all hospitals and blood centers call the current situation a “crisis.” In an effort to fight the shortage, the members of the World Mission Society Church of God (General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol, hereinafter the Church of God) conducted a large-scale blood donation campaign to help ease the blood shortage crisis.
On May 8, the 1058th Worldwide Blood Drive to Give Life Through the Love of the Passover was held at the Ramgarh Community Hall in Kolkata, West Bengal. About 400 people, including the Church of God members, their families, friends and neighbors, participated in the blood drive. The volunteers followed the infection prevention guidelines such as wearing face masks, checking their body temperatures, and keeping physical distance. The atmosphere was cheerful throughout the event. While waiting for the pre-donation screening tests and the blood draw, the volunteers posed for photos while holding up their handmade signs to inform people about the importance of blood donation.
Sri Aroop Biswas, Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Power in the Government of West Bengal, encouraged participation in blood donation by saying, “Through this initiative conducted by the Church, people across different caste, creed and religious faith will be benefited and I’m happy to see how the Church of God is contributing towards the wellbeing of the society.” The state government and the Lions Blood Bank supported the event by paying the cost of renting the Community Hall. This day, 250 people successfully donated blood.
Passover is one of God’s feasts, and the word “Passover” implies that “disasters pass over.” The day before Jesus was sacrificed on the cross, He established the New Covenant Passover with the bread and wine as symbols of His flesh and blood, to give mankind the forgiveness of sins and eternal life as well as the hope for Heaven. In an effort to practice and preach the love of the Passover, the church conducts the Worldwide Blood Drive to Give Life Through the Love of the Passover. Additionally, the church carries out another significant activity, which is the Worldwide Cleanup Campaign Through the Love of the Passover.
An official from the Church of God said, “Our church members have gathered their minds together to help those whose lives are endangered with the scarcity of blood, in commemoration of the sacrifice and love of Jesus Christ who has granted mankind salvation through the Passover. I hope that our blood donation will help alleviate the blood supply shortage that has worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” We will continue to deliver God’s love to our neighbours and communities through various activities.”
This same day, the Church of God held a blood donation event in Raipur, Chattisgarh, too. Last month, the church conducted a blood drive in Warangal, Telangana. As there is a critical shortage of healthy and safe blood nationwide, this church’s continuous blood donation is of great help. In addition, the church members conducted cleanups in some regions such as Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, Mumbai in Pune, Raigarh in Chhattisgarh, and East Khasi Hills in Meghalaya. They also extended a helping hand to farmers in many parts of West Tripura, State of Tripura. They rolled up their sleeves to carry out relief and recovery work after a cyclonic storm in Palghar, Maharashtra, and visited a children’s home in Pune to support their dreams and hopes. Moreover, young adults from the church cheered on healthcare workers by delivering handwritten letters and snacks to them in Pune, Ahmednagar, Palghar, Nashik, and many other parts of the state of Maharashtra.
The Church of God has over 7,500 branches and 3.3 million registered members in 175 countries around the world. The church fulfills the value of living together according to the teachings of the Bible. The church believes in God the Father and God the Mother, which the Bible testifies about, and practices Their love in various fields such as emergency relief, assistance for underprivileged neighbors, environmental protection, blood donation, and educational support. The church took the lead in relief and recovery efforts after disasters such as torrential rains and hurricanes in the United States, volcanic eruptions in the Philippines, wildfires in South Africa, cold waves in Peru, and earthquakes in Nepal. Since the start of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the church has been donating personal protective equipment and other supplies, food and daily necessities to various countries such as Malaysia, Cambodia, Chile, and Ghana as well as India, to give them courage.
In recognition of these altruistic activities, the Church of God has received more than 3,300 awards from the central and local governments of many countries, in addition to getting support and encouragement from them. The awards include the President’s Volunteer Service Award (Gold, the highest honor for a group; 49 times) from three consecutive presidential administrations—Obama, Trump, and Biden, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service from the British Queen, and the Green World Award and the Green Apple Award—the international environmental awards.