While COVID-19 is ravaging the US and the rest of the world, there had been relatively few reported cases and deaths in the country of Kenya and no reported cases in Pokot. That is, until the first week of August when the first reported case of the disease in the Pokot region was announced.
Prior to the announcement, Pokot Outreach received special permission from the government to conduct seminars in villages, around water points, and in shopping areas where people gather to make them aware of the situation, educate them on how to protect themselves, distribute soap and masks, and encourage the people with the love of God. The ministry has also been on a number of radio broadcasts sharing similar information.
Because of the remoteness of most of these locations, Julius Kaprech reported that nearly all of the people had never heard of “COVID” or “coronavirus” and were surprised to hear that the disease had no cure. Many were scared and uneasy with this new information. Others were skeptical that it was true. As news of the presence of COVID in Pokot spread, several of these skeptics have communicated with ministry staff their appreciation for what the ministry is doing for them. Those that knew Julius Murgor and the Pokot Outreach team trusted that they were being told the truth and were grateful to be informed on how to protect themselves. They expressed their thankfulness that someone cared enough about them to share this information and to pray with them for their protection and safety.
The water points, at which the team met groups of people, served as great demonstration areas to show people how to use the handwashing stations and to use the soap in their homes. Social distancing is a new concept for them, as it was for all of us, and some in the meetings still need a little practice. The women seem to have a better handle on it than the men.
Things in Kenya are opening up and the daily Coronavirus infection rates are on the rise as people move in and out of major population centers into the rural areas. Pokot Outreach’s efforts are ongoing and additional funds are needed to reach everyone that the ministry is targeting.