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Surviving the Pandemic in South Africa

2020 – The year everyone wanted to end. For most, it could not get over soon enough. Many said it was the worst year of their life. Others griped about all their freedoms that were being taken away. Others lived in fear of a virus that we did not know anything about.

The virus reached here in South Africa sometime in February. As cases started to increase, talks began of a lockdown. We started to make preparation by buying some staples ahead and trying to figure out how to best navigate what was sounding like serious restrictions.

The last week of March, the strict lockdown was put in place. No travel outside your province, most businesses closed except for the essentials (basically grocery stores and pharmacies), mask to be worn at all times, all schools closed, all churches closed, all restaurants closed. Curfew from 9 PM to 5 AM, no parks open, no walking outside your house—basically they wanted everyone to stay home unless it was absolutely necessary to be out.
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At first, since we did not know much about this virus, we decided to be careful. We limited our time in public to once a week to get whatever groceries we needed. Once we got back to the house, we took a shower, put on clean clothes, wiped down counters, etc.

As time went on and more statistics began to be published, we realized that in the area where we live the case count was very low. Most of the cases were in the south in the bigger cities.

Thankfully, the rules in the housing development we live in were a little more relaxed. They said we could walk in the development as long as we did not stand around in groups and talk. So we were able to at least continue our daily walks.

I am thankful for a husband who has a generous heart and who thinks outside the box. He was thinking about all those who would not be able to work for several months. These people had no money to buy food ahead because they mostly live from day to day.

The Lord has blessed us abundantly, and we knew He would have us share what we had with others who were less fortunate. The week before the lockdown went into place, we were able to distribute food to many families to help them through this crisis.

Each month during the lockdown, he was able to either get food or money to many of those we are working with to help them feed their family or to pay rent.

We could not meet with anyone for Bible studies or services. So my husband began preaching a 30-minute message live on Facebook every Sunday morning. He also began teaching a short Bible study lesson 3 times a week on Facebook. He has continued doing this all throughout the year, and many have been reached with the gospel.

In those services, he offers our Bible study lessons that can be done on WhatsApp or by email. The requests started coming in, and at one time, we were doing over 100 Bible studies every day. As a result, many people have gotten saved.

As we fast forward now to the end of the year, we know much more about the virus now than we did. Our world is forever changed. We will never go back to “normal life” like it was before the virus.

Many people still live in fear. Right now we are in a “second wave” with cases at an all-time high. Our area missed the “first wave” but now cases in our area are high so we are under more restrictions again.

The hospitals are overflowing with tents set up to help manage the number of cases. So many people are dying that they are running out of caskets. Borders are closed once again and travel is a nightmare.

What is our response to be as Christians to be when our world is turned upside down?
Let me first mention what it is NOT to be. We are not to be fearful or in a panic. We are not to think that God has forgotten us.

We are not to run and hide so we can be safe. We are not to hunker in our bunker, cover our head, and keep quiet.

First and foremost, we need to remind ourselves that our lives are not ruled by chance. God is still in control, and He has a purpose and a plan in everything that happens.
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Second, no matter what is going on in the world, our job is still the same: Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. When things get bad, God still wants us to proclaim the good news to those around us. Many times, people are more willing to listen when things are in a turmoil.

Third, we need to be looking for ways that we can help others who are less fortunate. Many doors have been opened for the gospel as we have shared what God has given us with others.

Now we are in 2021—and it does not look like it is going to be any better! As we watch the political upheaval taking place in America, our hearts are saddened. We see our country being destroyed by sin.

But God is still in control! And He still has a plan! And Romans 8:28 is still true. “And we KNOW…” That is a promise that we can believe. God has everything under His control.

If I believe that, it relieves me of worries and anxiety. It keeps me from being proud and arrogant and instead causes me to depend on Him.

It reminds me that I am not in charge, but He is. He is God, and I am not.

The year 2020 may not have played out the way we wanted it to, but God was not surprised by anything that happened. In fact, He orchestrated it all.

And He will do the same in 2021. So keep your eyes on Him, and keep on walking!
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Comments 1

  1. Thank you so much for your encouragement and reminding us of what we should still be doing-reaching out to others:)

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