By Athanase Habimana – Union of Baptist Churches, D.R. Congo
We thank you for praying for us as we go through this pandemic period. In the D. R. Congo, we are currently in a lockdown period. No church services are allowed, so we are preaching over the radio. We also have teams that are sending messages to church members to comfort and encourage them. We have been able to install hand-washing stations so that people have access to basic sanitation. Below is a glimpse into our recent outreach providing aid to widows.
Tumusifu Safari is 88 years old. After her husband died in 1984, she continued with their farming activities. Over the last few years, she has become more frail and is unable to tend the farm. We were able to provide her with food assistance during this pandemic period. She was so thankful to receive our support! She said she will continue to pray until God ends COVID-19.
Rosa Bushala lost her husband in 2006. Since then, she has lived near her youngest son. Rosa helps provide for the family by selling coal. Though this does bring in a small amount of money, it is not enough to feed the family. We have been able to supply her with food and assist with her home rental fee. Rosa has been a believer since childhood. She is a singer and serves faithfully in our Hekima church. Rosa has always trusted that God would provide for her and her family and is grateful for the assistance she received.
By Julius Murgor – Pokot Outreach Ministries, Kenya
Thankfully, the Pokot people of Kenya have largely avoided COVID-19. Our primary concern is the future impact on food security. Travel is currently restricted, which prevents the flow of planting materials and seeds. This will have a tremendous effect on the food supply, not only for the Pokot, but all of Kenya. We hope to be able to facilitate the distribution of seeds and food relief throughout the Pokot in an effort to prevent a food shortage. Please pray with us that these efforts will be successful and that the Pokot people will be able to reap a harvest, both physical and spiritual, in their communities.
By Mutabaruka Aphrodis – Seira Community Churches, Rwanda
Thank you for joining us in prayer! Our church members are doing what they can to help others in their communities, visiting the sick and providing food for families in need. They keep leaders and each other informed as to what the needs are and how they may pray for each other. Since we are unable to meet in person, we have been holding conference calls twice each week to share the Gospel. So far, we have averaged 100 people on each call! More than 20 families were supported in the last two weeks through HIM. We want to share two of them with you.
The Muhirwa family became members of our church in 2012. Olive became a widow in 2014 after her husband was killed in a motorcycle accident. She is active in the choir and is in charge of taking care of visitors in the church. Her two sons are also involved in the children’s choir and attend primary school.
Olive previously worked in a printing factory, but has been jobless for the last six months. As you can imagine, life has been difficult. We have been able to provide the family with basic food supplies like rice, beans, cooking oil, and charcoal. Olive loves to give back by cleaning the church during the week.
Thomas is a leader of Rukumberi church. He and his wife have six children. Their life at Rukumberi is hard because they rent a house, which means they do not have a plot of land to plant crops. People is this area are very poor. Though the church is very active, they are unable to support their pastor. We are grateful to be able to help provide for them and are thankful for Thomas’ commitment to spreading the Gospel.
The Kerith Ministry family and our community would like to thank God for His protection over us and for using you to support us during this trying moment. In the midst of all the challenges that come with COVID-19, we want to let you know that we are doing well health wise and spiritually.
Through HIM donations, we have been able to support more than 300 families during this time with food, salt, and soap.
Halima (seen here with Mercy Mwesigwa) is a widow who lost her husband to HIV/AIDS. She lives a few blocks from Kerith in a grass thatched house with four of her grandchildren. We were able to help her with food that will last her two weeks. Halima has challenges to sustain herself and her grandchildren since she does not have a piece of land to cultivate her own food. Halima has taught us to have faith in the Lord even in the hardest times like these. Halima received Christ three years ago after having been a Muslim all her life. We ask that you pray for her that the Lord will meet the needs of her life.
We were also able to assist Goretti, a widow who lost her husband six years ago. Her family lives in a ramshackle, grass thatched house; and she singlehandedly struggles to educate and feed her three teenage children. I met Goretti during our community outreach on Parenting God’s Way for single mothers. Like many other widows, she cannot earn any money because of the lockdown. We were able to provide food for her family. Our long-term plan for Goretti is to employ her as a trainer of our teenage children, women, and single mothers in tailoring and sanitary pad making. We are trusting God for five sewing machines to be used in the training. If we get the machines, we will be able to train more women like Goretti.
Kerith Ministry is also providing counselling and prayer to families that are facing hard times feeding their families and paying bills. Others are facing domestic violence due the challenges in the families. Because of the restrictions of movement, we do this by making calls, and those we cannot reach by making a call, we make a short visit.
Kerith Health Centre is also providing medical support to people that are facing health challenges and cannot afford the costs. We have also provided free maternity services to the delivering mothers to help reduce the maternal mortality rate, which is on the rise due to the lock down.
We want to thank God for His unending love, care, and protection to all our friends and ministry partners.
New Fish Farm
We are excited about our new fish farm project. Fish production is the third largest income generating activity in Uganda. Over the last two years, we have been studying fish farming to see if our land is suitable and if it would generate both food for our children’s home and some income for self-sustainability of our ministry. Our findings gave us the encouragement to embark on this project.
We are employing locals to help in the excavation of the land and construction of the farm, giving them new skills they can use to provide for their families. Once the farm is yielding, we can easily move to a larger scale operation since the property is adjacent to wetland.
Our objectives with this project are to improve the living conditions of our community, to promote biblical values of work and conservation of the environment, and to contribute to the income of Kerith Ministry. To that end, we anticipate that we will sell approximately 75% of the fish raised, while the remaining 25% will be consumed in our children’s home.
By Rajendra Yellamelli – Sion Assembly Church, India
Because of the COVID-19 crisis, the government of India has taken the strict measure of instituting a compulsory 40-day lockdown of the entire nation. During this great hour of need, SAC has stepped in to offer relief services. Adhering to all safety and hygiene measures, we are safely providing food and water to people across our city of Vijayawada (with Government permission).
We have a team of chefs and other volunteers in place for cooking, packing, and distributing meals and water to people on the roadside, the homeless, and others in our city. We were forced to stop just a few days ago as virus cases are increasing, and government and police are no longer allowing us to distribute food packets. We will begin serving again as soon as restrictions are lifted and we receive permission from the police.
We met Kishore (seen here with some of our team) while delivering food packets. He is from Delhi and was working as a cook in a hotel in Vijayawada. The hotel has since closed, but he cannot go back to see his family because all transportation is shut down. He has been sleeping on the pavement by the roadside for 30 days. With tears in his eyes, he told us how happy he was to receive his food packet and that he is so thankful that we were able to help him.
I praise God for the safety and protection of our SAC families and SAC pastors. No one is stricken with COVID-19. Please continue to pray for us and the work we are doing in helping the people through this difficult situation.
Thank you so much for your prayers and your strong support to our people. We would not be able to do our work without your help. May God bless you for your prayers and support.