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13 May 2020

COVID-19 Update

An update on the situation in each country and their prayer requests.

Bangladesh

Updates:

  • National lock down has been lifted
  • All IN Bangladesh educational facilities remain closed
  • IN Bangladesh communicated with parents of each child asking if they want to take their child; those children without a parent will remain in INBD custody
  • IN Bangladesh has given cash to parents to buy food/hygiene items
  • IN Bangladesh may transfer funds to parents via BKash, financial transaction via phone
  • Cost of groceries has already doubled
  • Food baskets are being given to families in dire need

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for knowledge and wisdom as they abide by government mandates, but also want to do what is best for the children
  • As they work to help provide food and hygiene items for sponsored children, that the Lord will provide. Grocery costs have already doubled

Bougainville

Updates:

  • National COVID 19 restrictions have started to lift 
  • State of Emergency remains in place
  • Schools have reopened. Hygiene and social distancing practices to be followed

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for Kidron Ministries and their staff during this time of COVID 19
  • No cases of COVID 19 have been reported. Please pray it stays this way

Burkina Faso

Updates:

  • Some lock down restrictions have eased as of 4th May
  • Religious Institutions have reopened but certain ceremonies are not allowed
  • Face masks are mandatory in public places
  • Restaurants, markets and schools remain closed
  • The INBF clinic is open, but no COVID-19 test kits; people are referred to government hospital

Prayer Requests:

  • Prayer for the widows and orphans who have nothing to eat. Pray for provision of food
  • Pray for vulnerable families who cannot work during this crisis and are given no government support
  • Pray for peace in Burkina Faso against terrorism. Terrorism threatens families each day
  • Pray for the medical team at the INBF medical clinic. Pray for the protection and the provision of protective equipment in this time of covid-19

Cambodia

Updates:

  • Social distancing is encouraged
  • Large social gatherings are discouraged
  • Schools are closed
  • Court proceedings have been postponed. Survivors will have to wait longer to seek justice for crimes against them
  • Chab Dai team are working from home and communicating with clients digitally

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for all those affected by COVID 19 that God will heal them
  • We pray that all Chab Dai staff would be shaped and equipped powerfully during this present season: to emerge with greater resiliency, greater resolve to impact vulnerable communities, and with elevated skills to achieve more on their behalf in the present season and in whatever the new future looks like as a result of Covid-19

Czech Republic

Updates:

  • Most lock down restrictions have been lifted
  • National borders have reopened
  • Events up to 500 people are allowed
  • Church services have reopned
  • First level elementary schools have reopened
  • IN Czech Republic office has reopened
  • Healthy Youth workers are interacting with youth via electronic media
  • Anticipate when schools reopen they will make up for lost time and HY lectures will not be priority

Prayer Requests:

  • Healthy Youth workers who are creatively staying connected to the youth electronically
  • Protection over the staff, national workers and youth workers
  • Pray for all schools to reopen
  • Pray for funding needs

Egypt

Updates:

  • Hospitals are at full capacity
  • Schools are closed till September
  • Pastors in rural churches rely on weekly offerings for their salaries. Because churches are not able to meet, these pastors are suffering
  • The economic situation in Egypt is of concern. Many people rely on a daily wage and for over one month they have had no income. People are struggling to feed their children
  • The office is open three days a week
  • Partial lock down continues and national curfew.
  • Restaurants and coffee shops are now open but can only operate at 25% of their full capacity.
  • Churches are now open but can only operate at 25% of their full capacity. Sunday church services are prohibited.
  • 600 food parcels have been given out to families in dire need

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the many families who are without an income and are struggling to provide food for their children
  • Pray for the pastors throughout Egypt who are facing hardship as they are not receiving their salaries
  • Pray for Egypt’s economy and tourism sector

Ethiopia

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray that the evangelists would still have opportunity to share the gospel and that the hearts of the people would be open to hearing this message

Fiji

Updates:

  • Lock down is lifted
  • National curfew from 11pm-4pm
  • Social gatherings are allowed for up to 100 people or less
  • Businesses have started to reopen
  • Schools have started back
  • International Needs Fiji office has reopened
  • The Solo Mom’s Project will resume on 6 July
  • No new cases of COVID 19

 Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for Fiji during this time that they will be able to ride the storm and survive despite the many challenges of COVID 19 on the people of Fiji
  • Pray for the office staff and the people they minister too, the solo mom’s project participants, graduates, their families and communities
  • Pray for new volunteers. Pray that God will bring the right people who are guided by their love for God and people
  • Pray that God will open more doors for ministry work
  • Pray for God's guidance in this new season post COVID 19. Most families are struggling each day, the suicide cases are on the rise and people are finding it hard to live on a day by day. In this season of uncertainty that people may find God. We would like to see that International Needs Fiji is in the forefront of this mission to let people know that God's love and care is real and they can experience it for themselves too if they allow Him. 

Ghana

Updates:

  • Lockdown has been lifted in Accra
  • Fear is dominant in the villages
  • Many villages are not welcoming any visitors
  • IN Ghana office has reopened
  • The CEED programme is currently on hold
  • IN Ghana community programmes have restarted but no meetings in communities
  • Churches have reopened but are restricted to 100 people.  One metre social distance is to be abided by
  • Schools closed for indefinite period
  • Online school learning. Students are also being taught through the television.
  • No gatherings of more than 25 people
  • No funerals, but private burials are allowed with less than 25 people
  • Connecting with families remotely and assessing level of support can extend to them
  • Working with bankers to transfer money to families thru mobile money
  • Food baskets to be given to families in dire need

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for strong faith that will not waver
  • May people look to the Lord instead of false gods
  • Pray for the Lord's provision as many families have little to no income
  • Pray for peace over the people in Ghana. There is a lot of anxiety
  • Pray for IN Ghana staff as they connect with parents of sponsored children and assess how they can help the families during this time
  • Pray for all of the children and students across Ghana who are not in school; may they feel the Lord's protection and peace 

India

Updates:

  • The lockdown has been extended until June 30th in containment zones.  Services will resume in phases from June 8th 
  • There is difficulty in homes in villages to be practising social distancing due to lack of space in homes. 5-8 people are staying in 1 or 2 rooms
  • All schools and colleges are closed, essential services are open.
  • Sano Diyo family is doing well and trying to stay busy
  • Sano Diyo staff was asked not to report to work because of lockdown
  • Prasanna and Arpana Khaling are trying to keep the girls busy cooking, cleaning, games, movies, but the girls still feel the pressure of the situation
  • Vocational training in Allahabad has been halted but staff keep in touch with trainees digitally and via phone
  • The Allahabad senior team is in constant communication with the village staff and offer encouragement to them although unable to visit at present since all vehicular traffic is disallowed into the villages

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for protection against the corona virus for all staff, national workers, women, children and men
  • Pray for tensions to decrease and peace to reign
  • Pray for the provision of essential supplies such as food to those poorest in each community

Kenya

Updates:

  • There is a curfew in Nairobi from 7pm-5am
  • People are required to wear a face mask when leaving their homes; they may be arrested if they are caught without a face mask
  • Food baskets were distributed to some primary, secondary and university students
  • IN Kenya is hoping to distribute food baskets every two weeks
  • IN Kenya provided hand soap to all sponsored children's families
  • IN staff are calling students every two weeks to connect with them
  • Schools and the Saturday Bible Clubs are not in session

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for families as they have to stay inside together and many of them live in very small spaces; may they be filled with grace and patience
  • Pray for the families in Kibera as parents may be out of work and resources are scarce
  • Pray for the pastors in Kibera - may the Lord equip them as they serve their communities during this time
  • Wisdom for IN Kenya team as they work to provide necessary food to children and their families within the government's guidelines

Myanmar

Updates:

  • Pray for the people of Myanmar as the virus continues to spread
  • Pray for the Christian community as Christians are being blamed for the spread of Covid 19. Pray for their protection
  • Pray for the Hope for Now team. Pray God’s peace and provision over every staff member and their families 
  • Pray that Hope for Now can be a channel of the gospel when they distribute food packages to the families who are in dare need.
  • Lock down has been lifted however some restrictions have been put in place.
  • Gatherings of more than five people are not allowed
  • Face masks are compulsory to wear
  • Government schools, private schools and churches are still banned.
  • The restriction is extended until July 15th.
  • Churches are having online services.
  • Due to the pandemic many businesses are closed permanently and many people have lost their jobs.
  • Some factories deemed safe are able to continue production
  • Food parcels have been distributed to 80 families

 Prayer Requests:

  • National elections are to be held in November. Pray that God will appoint good leaders for the country.
  • Pray for Christians’ mission to spread the good news throughout Myanmar
  • Pray for the Hope for Now team as they reopen and resume their mission and resource centre.
  • Pray for peace in Myanmar.

Nepal

Updates:

  • Most International Needs staff are working from home, but two staff in the office
  • The staff connect electronically at 11am every day for prayer
  • Due to the lockdown, families who rely on daily wages to provide food for their families are struggling to provide nourishment
  • Some community workers are providing food to communities through their churches
  • One community worker, who is a pastor, has granted permission for the local government to use his church for a quarantine center
  • Community workers are making phone calls to educate people about corona virus and telling them to stay home for everyone's safety
  • The Lydia Vocational Training Centre was closed and trainees were sent home. The trainees will return to the centre once lock down lifts
  • Lydia trainees were given educational material on COVID-19 so they could help educate people in their villages when they returned home
  • The Lydia students were given assignments to work on from home
  • Two of the Lydia students have started sewing face masks
  • Sponsorship coordinator Rabindra is in contact with INCAP kids/families and all are safe
  • Students are learning through online school platforms.
  • Nepal government has put into place lockdown restrictions in three modality stages that will occur till 4th August. Nepal is currently in stage one.
  • Private clinics, agricultural business, essential food stores and transport goods have opened in stage one.
  • Private vehicles are allowed to operate on an odd-even basis (cycle).

Prayer Requests:

  • The number of coronavirus cases continue to increase in Nepal. Please pray that every believer’s faith will continue to be greater than any fear
  • Many people especially labour workers are suffering and starving for food. Please pray for the Lords provision at this time
  • Pray for our trainees from the Lydia Vocational Training Centre. That they will keep safe and well. May they continue to spend time with God in his presence and engage in their studies
  • Pray for the community workers throughout Nepal as they continue to share the love of Christ by providing food and making encouraging phone calls to people in the communities
  • As people are quarantined at a rural church in Nepal, may they come to know Christ
  • Praise God for one Lydia student who recently accepted Christ. May she continue to seek God and feel His presence in this time away from the Lydia centre
  • May the ministry in Nepal not be hampered by the current situation, but instead may IN Nepal be given opportunity to serve people in need
  • Pray for IN Nepal staff as they connect with sponsored children's parents to encourage and provide support

 

Papau New Guinea

Updates:

  • National curfew has been lifted
  • Washing hands before church services is mandatory
  • Schools have reopened but all students must wear a face mask
  • Gatherings are still banned

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the national workers and their families at this time
  • Pray that the gospel can continue to be spread throughout the nation

Philippines

Updates:

  • Internet is unreliable and communication is hard
  • Lockdown is still strictly observed in many places 
  • There are now places (Magdalena, Sta. Rosa and Marikina) in our International Needs Children Assistance Programme (INCAP) Ministry which has rising positive cases of Covid19
  • Food parcels have been distributed to sponsored children families. More food parcels are to be delivered when safe to do so.

 Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for those who have suddenly lost their job due to the coronavirus and are struggling to now provide for their family.
  • Pray for the International Needs Philippines team, national workers, sponsored children and their families at this time. Pray for God’s continued protection and provision.
  • Continue to pray for our area co-ordinators who live and work in places where the cases of COVID 19 are rising. Pray for their health and protection.
  • Pray for wisdom, grace and hope for the leadership team of International Needs Philippines as they navigate this time of COVID 19
  • Pray for International Needs Philippines local partners and supporters to recover from their jobs and loss of income during this pandemic

Slovakia

Updates:

  • National lock down has lifted
  • Wearing masks in public is mandatory
  • Church services have reopened including weddings
  • Schools remain closed as well as theatres and concert halls
  • Sporting events are still suspended

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the national workers and their families
  • Pray that national workers can safely continue to teach the good news of God
  • Pray for the protection of health workers working on the frontline

Tonga

Updates:

  • A national night time curfew is enforced
  • Schools and churches have reopened

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the nation to remain COVID 19 free
  • Pray for the team who run the School is my Friend programme International Needs supports

Turkey

Updates:

  • Some lock down restrictions have eased
  • Daycare and kindergartens have reopened.  However restrictions on the movement of those aged over 65 and under 18 still continue.
  • Restaurants and cafes have reopened to a limited number of customers.
  • Museums, libraries, gyms, swimming pools, childcare centres and nurseries have reopened.
  • Business's have reopened but must follow social distancing and strict hygiene practices
  • Children's programs and all church planting activities suspended
  • Church services are organized online
  • A lot of fear and panic, even among the Christian community
  • The team is communicating with families through phone calls
  • Food parcels have been given to 65 families, reaching 223 people

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the health of the International Needs team and national workers
  • Pray for the Christian community in Turkey as this virus has increased fear and panic amid an already tumultuous situation within the country
  • Prayer for wisdom to navigate in these difficult times. Pray for new ways to evangelize

Uganda

Updates:

  • Some lockdown restrictions  have eased
  • National curfew from 7pm - 630am
  • Public buses and taxis are operating at 50% of the usual capacity.  All passengers must wear a face mask.
  • Schools remain closed until July,  the government continues to distribute learning material on television, radio and in newspapers.
  • Shopping malls and some shops have opened but must follow safety regulations.
  • All community outreaches have been suspended
  • Churches are closed.
  • Skeletal staff reports to office two days a week otherwise working remotely
  • Monday & Thursday of organized prayer

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for sponsored children and their families
  • Pray for Justus as he leads IN Uganda through this challenging time
  • Pray for the protection and safety of staff members who only can manage the few activities at the International Needs office and the Makonge Community Health Centre
  • Pray for the national ministry of health team who are taking care of the situation in Uganda. Pray for safety, wisdom and supply of materials needed
  • Pray for the economic situation in Uganda

Vietnam

Updates:

  • The government has eased lock down measures in main cities
  • Schools have reopened
  • There are some Christians making masks that say 'Jesus loves you' and distributing them to the poor

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for the recipients of the 'Jesus loves you' masks; may they come to believe this truth
  • Pray for the many national workers; may they remain healthy and continue to have opportunities to share the gospel with their neighbors