Belarus (MNN) — Orphanages suffer as the government of Belarus fails to prepare for a coronavirus outbreak.
Many areas of the United States appear to have passed their peaks of new coronavirus cases, but Russia and the surrounding countries are just now reaching that point. Russia saw a record number of new cases and deaths on Saturday.
Belarus in particular has not prepared well for the coronavirus. Its president has suggested people fight the virus by eating garlic, among other things. The country has not banned large public gatherings, and its soccer league remains one of the few still in operation around the world.
And the most vulnerable will suffer as a result. Eric Mock of Slavic Gospel Association says, “We received an email talking about a particular orphanage in Belarus, where the orphanage was closed due to the quarantine. [Now] 70% of the kids are from broken homes, where 30% are true orphans. A lot of these kids [have been] sent back to their broken homes, which is tragic.”
SGA ministers to orphans in the former Soviet Union through its Orphans Reborn program. Read the story of another Belarus orphanage that faces its own coronavirus outbreak.
Comparison to Chernobyl
Mock recalls walking through the Chernobyl Museum, learning about nuclear meltdown there and how it affected people during the following months. The government, he says, did not do a good job informing people about how bad the disaster was.
Mock says, “Much like it was during the days of Chernobyl, when the disaster hit and radiation was beginning to travel throughout the southern region of Belarus, I think in the next few weeks, we’re going to see the same thing. The lack of response early on will allow the virus to be spread pretty significantly.”
SGA wants to get ahead of the curve and prepare people to help with the coming hardship in Belarus. See SGA’s Christ Over COVID page.
How to pray
Mock says the former Soviet Union countries will not bear up as well under the coronavirus as the United States has. Pray that Christians in Russia and Belarus would be safe from sickness and economic danger.
Pray also that many would come to Christ during this time and that, “The churches in those countries are faithful in proclaiming Christ as their only hope and the middle of such a crisis.”
When creation groans, the Gospel offers the only hope that we and the creation itself will be set free from decay and death.
COVID-19 patient in Belarus being transported in a special isolation stretcher. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)