Our partners in southern Africa are adjusting to a new way of doing life in the pandemic and forging ahead in making life work through travel restrictions and social distancing.
The COVID lockdown started about four months ago in the Kingdom of Eswatini, and life changed dramatically for everyone. God’s grace has sustained us through this very challenging time, keeping us safe and providing for the needs of all of our children and young people, thus far. We are so grateful to the Lord, and to all who have helped to meet the suddenly escalating needs that loomed so alarmingly.
This was exacerbated as the wheels of many businesses came off for many in our nation. Our sustainability enterprise projects were forced to come to a grinding halt. With borders closed and restrictions on travel and trade opportunities, we had nowhere to turn but God, and he has been faithful, day by day.
A New Normal With the Kids
The children have been amazing through this difficult season. The sudden shift to homeschool took some adjustment. The usual daily devotions in each house became even more essential to their routine with the children taking turns to share. It has proven to be a real faith-building exercise. The youth are a huge blessing and source of refreshment for the little ones, organizing outside games and aerobics sessions each day for them, all with safe special social distancing.
Communication with external relatives has had to be limited to phone calls only. For their safety, the children have had all travel to anywhere outside of Bulembu put on hold.
Not surprisingly, some of the children are feeling the emotional strain of not being able to visit the homes of extended family, especially where relatives are reported to be sick. The same applies to the aunties who care for them too. I’m sure we can all identify; it’s been difficult times, the world over!
Making Space for Grief and Joy
We were thankful for the slow onset of COVID-19 in our vulnerable nation. However, the curve is rising rapidly now, and the death is rate climbing. In such a small community, it is hitting home. We are so thankful for the Lord’s protection of our ministry family. To date everyone has remained healthy and uninfected.
While thankfully none of our church members have passed away, many of them have lost family members during this season for a variety of reasons, not all related to the coronavirus. We have been dealing with bereavement on a scale never faced before in our 14 years. It has been a very sad time.
This is why it feels more important than ever to celebrate life and to make the most of each day we are given. Accordingly, it was a joy to celebrate the marriage of one of our ministry daughters Ncami to Luke. The blustery wind couldn’t mar the beauty of their ceremony, which was held outside with safe social distancing before a small gathering of masked witnesses.
It has been a humbling experience to see God’s children from different parts of the world come to our aid, in prayer, in fund-raising endeavors and in sending gifts. We don’t have words sufficient to express the depth of our gratitude to you for your help.