Everyday our thoughts are being bombarded by the overwhelming news coming from countries all over the world as well as from out our own front doors. This is no less true and even more intense for our brothers and sisters serving the marginalized and hurting people in heavily-hit countries. We have received updates from several partners and want to share them with you. This way you can know how to pray and give.
From NOMADS in the Middle East: we are told that work projects are shutting down and the workers are being kept inside the labor camps. Outsiders are not allowed in. For the men and women living in the labor camps, the risk for spreading the virus is high as they are living in unhygienic conditions, in crowded spaces and many can not afford to be buying up soap and cleaning products. As the government is no longer allowing meeting in large groups, individual leaders of smaller groups are being encouraged to keep up with their people. Nomads have started a campaign to raise funds to purchase cleaning products to be delivered to the camps.
Please pray for this and for wisdom and protection for those serving in these areas. Our friends there thank you all for your support!
From the Walk with Me locations in Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen: Until this week the clinics in Lebanon and Jordan were able to provide some families with hand sanitizers, gloves, etc. Babies and the elderly were able to receive nebulizer treatments. However, as of yesterday all the clinics were closed down in both Lebanon and Jordan. Obviously, the situation is dire. The sick and infected have nowhere to isolate since they all live in one confined space. In Lebanon the situation is made more difficult by the banking problems and not being able to send a lot of funds in. At this time the feeding/nutrition program is the only one running -preparing meals for families. In Jordan, it’s extreme. Tanks are enforcing a ban on any movement outside the home by penalty of one year in jail.
We are thankful to report that as of yet in Yemen there are no reported cases of the Virus (in Taiz) so programs from the Nutrition center are still running.
Please pray for the teams in place who are trying to give aid on the ground in these locations. Pray for the families and children with already compromised immune systems from lack of nutrition and hard living conditions.
Home of Hope: Lebanon, still reeling from the revolution and government shut downs, is also being drastically affected by the virus. Long term volunteers and interns at the home have returned to their home countries. Home of Hope Academy, the education team, is not working right now to comply with the nationwide lockdown. Banks are closed at this time so they are unable to get the money for payroll for the few staff who remain. Worksheets are being printed off for the children so that they have about 90 minutes of schooling each day. (There is no manageable way for kids to do independent e-learning at HoH.) The load for the caregivers at the home is heavier as the children are with them more. HOH volunteer Steven Wilbur mentions that for the most part the kids are managing and regulating themselves very well. That has been encouraging. Even with less people to help each day, he writes, “We haven’t forgotten the reason we are here and will do what we can to support the kids during this difficult season.”
Please pray for these children who have already faced so much in their short lives and for those who are there with them: wisdom, health, boldness, and courage.
Batwa Pygmies in Uganda: Tying Vines partner Tino Qahoush reported that the government is closing all schools and orphanages. Tino works with the church in Uganda to help the Batwa Pygmy people, who are considered to be the amongst the poorest humans on earth. Tino has been working alongside of Pastor Gerald to provide homes, orphanages, and schooling for this marginalized people group. Because the government is closing the orphanages, Pastor Gerald is trying to find homes for the orphans.
Please pray that the children can be housed with church families, and for the funds needed to buy mattresses and bedding. For health for Pastor Gerald and his family as they minister to so many in need.
Kilim Creations: Partners Bill and Marty Stewart arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia just days before the travel bans went into effect. They traveled to Tbilisi to continue their efforts to help develop local Persian business leaders with the production of handmade goods to be marketed internationally. As of today there were only 43 cases of the Virus being reported and no deaths which is encouraging news. As they will be there for an indefinite time they will have time to reconnect with old friends and strategize about upcoming projects.
Please keep the Stewarts in your prayers. Bill said,”Plans are having to be adjusted to this new reality, but we are making the adjustments.”
The word and action of the day and for many days to come… Pray. Thank you for your support of our dear Partners.