Kohima COVID-19 community kitchen with KBPF’s support providing food for 3 QCs
Vishü Rita Krocha
Kohima | June 12
On Friday morning, members of the New Capital Baptist Church, Kohima, had started to gather as early as 3:00 am at NBCC Convention Hall, where ‘Bethel Kitchen’ is placed and has been brimming with activity since June 3. The Kohima District Task Force had initiated the COVID-19 Community Kitchen named as ‘Bethel Kitchen’ with the support of the Kohima Baptist Pastors’ Fellowship (KBPF) to provide food for the three quarantine centres in Kohima namely Meriema, K.Badze and I.G Stadium.
There are currently around 52 churches under KBPF and every day, one of these churches take the responsibility of providing workforce to manage the kitchen. “Tiring but worth working” is one of the general feedbacks by members of churches that have already accomplished their assigned task in the past one week.
The entire process usually involve the volunteers making little sacrifices by waking earlier than usual and cheerfully giving their services in the form of cleaning, cooking, packing and also loading the food onto the delivery trucks.
“This morning, while serving breakfast for a total of 1640 people in the quarantine centres, we packed an additional 150 lunch packs for those being released today so they can have on the way,” Bendang, Pastor of New Capital Baptist Church told The Morung Express. Pointing out that practically it’s not easy, he however said that, “we are always ready to help, and I would like to request those in the quarantine centres to patiently accept what we are preparing for them.”
“We are always there to support them,” he added. In the meantime, he said that the exciting part of the process is the ‘packing’, which, he indicated is also the hardest, and takes at least 2-3 hours. Besides those cooking and packing, he highlighted that, “some are cleaning rice, peeling potatoes or cleaning vegetables for tomorrow while some are splitting the firewood.” Only after cleaning and keeping things ready for the next day, they would be ready to leave.
A total of 110 people from New Capital Baptist Church, Kohima including mothers and young people alike have come forward to help today. Maipo, a young church member who is helping pack the food, felt that “although it is a big challenge, we are working together as a team and whenever we come together as a team, it is easier.” Putting across that all of them have happily come to help, she went on to state that “this is a pandemic, something we will never forget,” while impressing upon that the sacrifice, however little they have made today, was worth it all.
Among the volunteers are also young students, who sacrificed their sleep to be able to give their services at the Bethel Kitchen today. Atem, a class XI student, who was not sure if he could wake up on time decided to forego his sleep and was at the venue by 3:00 am. “I feel really good working here,” he said while rushing off to load food into the truck.
Dr Kevichalie Metha, KBPF President told The Morung Express that “some churches are willing to go for the second round,” while expressing that “our theology should work here now. As a church we are happy to be part of this venture.”
He further stated that “we are happy that the government is doing their part, providing everything, and occasionally, there are also churches and organisations voluntarily giving and sponsoring lunch/dinner besides their services.”
Acknowledging that it is not easy, he expressed that, “churches are happily accepting our request for their help and that really, is a moral boost.” He extended appreciation for the Kohima District Task Force, particularly the Mess Committee Team while putting across that “they are doing an excellent job. I feel sorry for them also because they are sacrificing a lot. There are also about 12 policemen helping us and I am grateful to all of them.”
Besides the churches that fall under KBPF, the list of churches/unions including other denominations that will be serving at the Bethel Kitchen has been prepared for, till June 30.