“We are overwhelmed by the pain and suffering of our people whether in Syria or Lebanon,” wrote a senior church leader to Barnabas Fund last week.
Both countries are in a catastrophic situation with empty shops, overflowing hospitals and money all but worthless. Other project partners tell us that Christians in certain countries are now on the brink of starvation. Cuba was already running out of food in January and now is at crisis point.
A third wave of Covid-19 is sweeping across India, Pakistan and West Africa – much more damaging than the earlier waves. It interacts with other problems and makes them worse. For many of our Christian brothers and sisters, marginalised in a hostile society or trapped in desperate poverty, the pandemic is yet another affliction to bear.
As winter in the southern hemisphere approaches, South America and southern Africa may see a surge in Covid-19 too, for it is a virus that prefers cool temperatures.
Let us not become weary …
The whole world is weary of Covid-19 and lockdowns. But, as the Bible says, “Let us not become weary in doing good” (Galatians 6:9).
Barnabas is continuing to help some of the very neediest of our brothers and sisters as they struggle with ongoing Covid-related suffering. Some have been hungry and malnourished for months, or even for years where Covid comes on top of long-term drought. Some live in such difficult situations that hand-washing itself is a major challenge, and vaccinations just a dream. Some are dealing with malaria, locusts or other natural disasters at the same time as Covid-19. Some live in countries cut off by sanctions from the aid they desperately need.
Rejoicing at the resurrection
Very soon, they and we shall all be celebrating Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Will you pray for our fellow-Christians who suffer so much this Easter season?
Will you give an Easter gift to our Covid Emergency Fund? It will be our privilege to pass it on to meet the practical needs of faithful believers, who are holding on to the risen Lord in these desperate times.
£7 ($10; €8) could buy a sack of maize meal to feed a family in southern Africa for a month
£15 ($21; €17.50) could buy 50 kg of seed for one farmer to plant (rice, maize, sorghum or groundnuts)
£20 ($27; €23) could buy five mosquito nets to give protection from malaria
£45 ($60; €50) could buy enough ePap porridge, enriched with protein, vitamins and minerals, for ten children for one month