Sidney Muisyo from Compassion International lays out some of the countries now being most affected by COVID-19, including many in South America. “Currently we are seeing Brazil just shooting through the roof. Peru is one more country that we are concerned about. Ecuador has also gone through a very difficult time. The other countries that we are watching are Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Tanzania.”
As COVID-19 spreads, the poorest families will be hit harder than anyone else. Even at the best of times, Muisyo says, the healthcare system in these countries can’t keep up with diseases like malaria or even routine vaccinations.
“Secondly,” Muisyo says, “Populations that we work with have lived lives of poverty. The general immunity tends to be compromised because they’re not getting balanced meals. Nutritional intake is typically compromised. When you encounter a pandemic like this COVID-19, that tends to exacerbate the situation.”
The Church steps in
The local churches, Muisyo says, have been a huge help during the pandemic. “So many of our churches have responded and made sure that we’re providing food packs to families. The second way that the church partners have responded to this need is by providing soap, sanitizers, and masks that are locally made. So that has been really wonderful to see. ”
These churches have not been able to meet as they normally would. The leaders of these churches have found ways to meet people’s needs and stay connected, often through WhatsApp.
How you can pray
Muisyo says, “We’re praying for the churches in the developing world, praying that the leaders would have the energy, wisdom, courage, and innovation necessary to be able to meet this situation in a way that reflects the Church is truly the people of God.”
Christians can also contribute financially to what Compassion International is doing around the world. Everywhere they serve, Muisyo says, people need food, and these needs will last a long time. In Brazil, for instance, none of the parents they work with have jobs right now.
Pray that COVID-19 would die out and not wreak more havoc in the developing world.
A member of the Peruvian army and a police dog enforcing a curfew. Peru has been hit hard by COVID-19 in the last two months. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)