The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll in countries around the world, MedSend healthcare professionals continue to provide updates and prayer requests from the field. From the U.S. to Africa to Asia, their thoughts are on the impact of this crisis on the people and communities they serve.
Below, we share some additional prayer requests from MedSend grant recipients around the world. Will you join us in prayer?
From Dr. S. in West Africa
Our biggest concern is for the people here. With a healthcare system that is already very fragile and under-resourced, what will be the short and long term impact of COVID-19 on this society?
Truth is, this virus has the potential to run rampant here due to many deep-rooted cultural norms. Try enforcing social distancing when people live in close community with each other. People’s source of food is found in overcrowded, open markets. Women purchase cooking ingredients on a day to day basis. Hand washing is not frequently performed with soap. The government has minimal capacity to respond to the enormity of the needs facing the people here. It is impossible to imagine how this virus can be contained once it arrives here.
From Dr. Alyssa Pfister in Burundi
My flight back to Burundi was scheduled for March 26. My 50lb suitcases are packed and ready to go. But as everyone has experienced, a pandemic impacts every aspect of life. I scrambled to try to get earlier flights and an expedited visa, but to no avail. Burundi closed their borders and airport and is issuing no visas for the time being. I completely understand that decision from a Burundi perspective. If we can avoid the pandemic in our country with ZERO ICUs or ventilators and very few masks, all the better! But personally I am now stuck in no man’s land – not really here or there, not sure what God has for me now.
From Dr. T. in West Africa
Last Friday, we awoke to a message from the US Embassy stating if we wanted to leave, to be at the airport at 11:30am. (it was 6am). My heart raced? Do we leave? Maybe if we flew to the US then the girls could fly also so that we could be together again. But, who will be here for our friends? They live hand to mouth. They have no savings. They have small babies, children, elderly parents that depend upon them. No…we must stay. . we must remain encouragers to the brethren, messengers to the lost, helpers to the weak and poor. Abiding in HIm..because apart from Him we can do nothing.
From Dr. Suzanne Hood in Kenya
We pray for the people of Kenya who are fearful of both the virus and the economic ramifications of a lock-down. There are only 150 ventilators in the whole country and 1 doctor for every 10,000 people and we anticipate that our healthcare system will be quickly overwhelmed. Given these circumstances, along with the closing of Kenya’s borders tomorrow, AIM and RVA have allowed staff to return home to first world countries. There are those who for various reasons have chosen to leave, but we an another 50 RVA staff families are choosing to stay. We know God is in control and he loves his people and that he has placed us here for such a time as this, so we will continue to serve our missionary and local community in whatever ways we can.
From J., a nurse in North Africa:
I wanted to let you all know that with a great amount of thought (and counsel from friends, colleagues, and leaders) that I chose to stay where I am. I had a short window of time to make a decision about whether to stay or return to the US. I feel very safe here. Even though borders are closed for an undetermined amount of time, I feel the government here is taking the best action possible to keep people well and safe. Commercial flights and ferries have been cancelled. No one is allowed to travel between cities. You must have written permission to leave your house and a curfew has been imposed. While this may sound scary to some, I believe it is the best was to keep people here safe and well and to stop the spread of the coronavirus here. We have access to plenty of food and TOILET PAPER :).
From K, in a closed country:
The world is an uncertain place right now. Many of us are struggling under heavy, heavy burdens. The worries of lost jobs, health, or being stuck far from our loved ones weigh on nearly everyone in the world right now. For some, the burden will hurt, but they will endure and become stronger. For others, the burden will break them. People will die. People will not be able to feed their children. People will lose their homes. I hope and I pray that we can help and encourage each other so we have more of the first kind, and less of the second kind.
From Derek and Lauren Webber, Kenya
We invite you to pray with us, for Kenya, for America, and for our world. President Kenyatta declared Saturday, March 21 as a National Day of Prayer for Kenya, and we are encouraged by his call to turn back to the Lord during these troubling times. May this be a time of unified renewal in the hearts of our world citizens. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to come together for the good of our societies, to set aside differences, and to serve those who are in need. I trust that the Lord will show each of us how to do that in our present circumstances, but I am encouraged to know that the most powerful tool in our hands is PRAYER. It surrenders our will and desires to the Father. It opens our hearts to the peace that can only come from Him, and it directs our minds toward outward service to others.