COVID-19 and our Mission Partners: Mighty Prayers Needed
If we are honest, I think it would be safe to say that most of us are focused on our own needs at this incredibly unpredictable and challenging time. Some are out of work, parents are having to homeschool for the first time, some are sick with the virus, and all of us are experiencing a level of uncertainty like none before. Yet while we here in America are facing this difficult time, let’s consider the level of need in the lands where we have beloved ministry partners––and PRAY for these dear ones whose lives are hanging more in the balance than our own.
Gerry McCord writes that the situation in Haiti is grim with an already failing healthcare system. Thousands of Haitians who live and work in the Dominican Republic are fleeing back to Haiti because the Dominican Republic is a hotbed of disease and death. The Haitians returning are flooding in along the mostly unmonitored border sites and hence no evaluations are taking place. It is feared that many will die in Haiti now that these people who have been exposed are returning. Thankfully, on the island of La Gonâve, where our sister church, St. Jean Baptiste, is located, there are no cases of COVID-19. However, all of the children are out of school and missing the one good daily meal they have. Pray for the people of Haiti.
Martha Vetter writes, “Rwanda is slightly larger than Vermont, with over twelve million people living within its borders. The first case of COVID-19 was reported on March 8th. Due to the high density of people and following its previous success in fighting the Ebola outbreak along its border with the Congo, Rwanda reacted immediately with a stringent national lockdown. The quarantine, along with careful tracing of contacts, has kept the coronavirus cases to a manageable 126 with no deaths so far. But there is a high expectation that, as the African continent begins to get hit harder, and with the extremely low number of ICU beds and ventilators, the number of cases and especially deaths could escalate very quickly. The greatest trial for millions of Rwandans is hunger. Due to the quarantine, impoverished people who formerly lived on a subsistence diet now have absolutely no way to acquire food. With no nationwide subsidies reported so far, Rwandans are starving. Pray for Rwanda.”
LAMB Institute: As of this writing, there are 393 cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths in Honduras. There are only 20 ventilators in all of the country. LAMB closed the school and ministries in downtown Tegucigalpa about the same time we did here in SC. There are cases of COVID-19 in the impoverished neighborhood of Flor del Campo, where LAMB’s main campus is located. LAMB staff have been blessed to give out food and supplies to many needy there. Suzy and her family are sequestered in her home, as is most of the staff. The Children’s Home in the country was completely closed off three weeks ago as very precious staff members and our young people voluntarily committed to quarantine with the children for two months. There have been no cases of COVID-19 in the LAMB community so far. Praise God!
Honduran Medical Missions: Pray for Dr. Reyna Duron and her community of medical professionals as they care for and give leadership to the effort against COVID-19 in Honduras.
10/40 Tribal Commission (the work among the Banjara people of the state of Telangana in India): Ryan Streett reports, “Like us, India is shut down until at least May. Our school had to close, and all of the paying students had to go home, which has left all of our teachers and employees without pay since the end of February. It also affects our orphanage operations and the ability to provide sufficiently for the orphans’ daily needs. Their new school year begins in June, so we are praying things will be back to normal by then. There have been no COVID-19 cases in these communities that we know of.”
Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in other lands. Many ministries throughout the world rely on short-term missionaries from the US to bring needed supplies and skills to help their people. With travel restrictions, literally thousands of needed helpers have not been able to travel to these lands. I read of one lone missionary cardiovascular surgeon in South Sudan who has a very long list of young people who need open-heart surgery to repair valves damaged by untreated rheumatic fever. Because planned trips from the States have been cancelled, many will die waiting for surgery.
Lastly, let us also not forget to continue to financially support our Christian brothers and sisters across the world (and at home!). The enemy would love nothing better than to have as many Christian ministries as possible fail because of a lack of financial support through this pandemic. Let us continue to give even when we are uncertain of our own financial future. May we pray and give as never before that God might be glorified and that the world might marvel at how we loved one another well.