Like many countries around the world, South Africa is in lockdown!
Violence by police against some of our poorest people has been reported, with accounts of authorities spraying water cannons and even rubber bullets at those living in the slums.
But, in a small tin shack in Stone Hill, Olga, one of our ministry leaders whom you’ve previously met, is sitting quietly contemplating and thanking the Lord for all the blessings He has bestowed upon her, through you, our ministry partners.
“What a sad time it is; the whole world is going through a difficult time because of this coronavirus pandemic. My thoughts and prayers are with my brothers and sisters all around the world, many of whom search for relief in the next official announcement or latest news report but whose only real Hope is in Jesus Christ.
“Life gets even more difficult when you are supposed to go on lockdown or practice social distancing in a squatter camp! We ask ourselves how this is remotely possible when we practically live on top of each other? When there’s five of us crammed together in one small shack! How do we stay in “quarantine” when we share a public water tap with 10 other families? When we all share an outdoor long-drop toilet? Even something as simple as brushing your teeth forces you to step outside the shack.
“Please don’t get me wrong, we are glad to have toilets; we are happy to have a tap with running water…. what I’m trying to say is that it is difficult to stay isolated when you constantly must go outside for daily necessities.
“We have brothers and sisters suffering from chronic disease like tuberculosis (TB) and other respiratory diseases, which makes life on them and the rest of us even more difficult during this time. We pray that God watches over us all. We keep reminding ourselves that God is in control and we lean not on our own understanding in this chaos.
“God has blessed us with people who’ve educated us on basic hygiene and how we can still play our part in keeping ourselves and others from getting infected by the coronavirus. He sent His wonderful people to hand out educational leaflets and put up posters raising awareness about preventing contracting COVID -19. They further handed out bars of soap to encourage the community of Stone Hill to wash their hands and try to stay germ-free.
“These very same people help us with daily food, creating a soup kitchen that’s up and running from Monday to Friday and open to every child and elderly person in the community.
“How great is our God?!! God takes care of His people! Always!
“It is hard for me to understand why bad and sad things happen. But when they do, I pray and ask God to help me continue trusting Him and believe that in the end, He will make things work out for the good of those who love Him.
“When bad things happen, always remind yourself that God cares. He is the one that counts every sparrow and feeds every tiny bird, and you are so much more important to Him than any bird.
“Life in an informal settlement can get rough! Leaking roofs, no water, hunger etc., then out of nowhere, someone comes and saves the day. That someone is called a redeemer! Jesus Christ, our Lord, is our redeemer. Just like what God did for Ruth and Naomi, God did it for us here in Stone Hill. He did this through His faithful servants; He sent His people to help us with shelter, fix our leaking roofs, fight for us to get water and electricity, provide medical assistance and to bless us with food.
“This is not the time for us to complain about anything. Instead of focusing on what we do not have, we must put our trust in that which we have, His Word.
“As the lockdown separates us from our family and friends, we know that we are never alone. For God says, ‘For the Lord will not forsake His people…’ 1 Samuel 12:22
“Our hope is in Jesus Christ!
“Thank you so much for your love and kindness towards us. Thank you for your love and support during this difficult time, that we can still eat and have medical assistance during the lockdown.
“We are praying for all of you. God bless you all!”