This month, Dan and I have been connecting with our global partners. It has been great for me to be able to meet all of them and to hear each of their stories. We also have had the opportunity to hear about how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected them personally, as well as their ministry. They are so encouraged by our prayers and us being able to connect with them.
All of us are being forced to face Covid-19 in different ways:
Words like stay-at-home, lockdown, curfew, movement control order, quarantine, strategy for suppressing, mitigation, shelter-in-place, martial law, etc. have become part of our everyday vocabulary. Even though these words have become normal to use, the meaning differs in the many various places of our partners. For example, in England you cannot leave your home unless you need groceries. In Guatemala and Panama, you can only leave your house for 90 minutes every other day, depending on your gender, and you cannot leave your neighborhood. In Turkey, no one younger than 20 or older than 65 can leave their homes at all. In India, if you leave your home, you may get beaten and arrested.
In some places, the government has been very helpful and taken the responsibility seriously. While in other places, the government has taken this opportunity to suppress their citizens even more.
While many Americans are receiving money from the US government to help them through financial hardship during this pandemic, only a few other countries have done the same for their citizens. While many are receiving help with food, other expenses are not being met as many people are not allowed to work their usual jobs. The Guaymi of Panama are not able to work in the coffee fields. Day work for harvest in India is severely limited. Small businesses in the Kenya slums can’t operate nor can customers be out to do shopping.
Loss of Travel
Because the world is “closed” right now, several of our partners have been affected financially. Children’s Cup, Lifeline, Harvest Prayer, and VisionTrust are among some of the organizations that depend on mission trips and speaking for income. A lot of children have lost the opportunity to meet families that support and care for them. Many families have lost the consistency of school and food provisions indefinitely. Many churches have lost the ability to connect with people who need the Lord.
Livestream and Video Calls
Technology has become a dependence to not only communicate but it has become a way to be part of a community. Several of our partners have been able to participate or view our live streams on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sundays. This has been a blessing and encouragement to many people as they do not have the resources to do this themselves. Those who are constantly giving of their time can now slow down and be fed, virtually. Our video calls have been an amazing way to connect, be able to see people’s faces, and to be able to basically be in their homes and pray for and with them.
As we continue to pray for our global partners, in these regards, it is important to remember that each one faces different situations, and how we react and respond matter.
I am thankful for the technology our church has chosen to minister to others and it is so good to hear that others around the world, where possible, can also connect.