19 Mar Lahash Partnerships Prepare for the Coronavirus
The mission of Lahash is to partner with East African churches to holistically care for vulnerable children. As we face a global pandemic in the form of the COVID-19 coronavirus, that mission is more critical than ever.
Thankfully, this novel coronavirus has been slower to reach East Africa. The first cases have shown up very recently. This has given Lahash the benefit of time to work closely and quickly with our East Africa team and the leaders at each of our partner locations across East Africa to develop plans for protecting the children and families they serve. East African nations are currently using a variety of tools to combat the spread of this disease. Outbreaks are now found in Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania. There is an awareness that those in Africa’s urban slums could be hit especially hard.
Coronavirus at this point appears to be sparing the youngest members in communities around the world. But many of the older kids and families that Lahash serves are at high risk from COVID-19 due to compromised immune systems. Many of the kids and family members we serve have had health struggles due in part to malnutrition, HIV, sickle cell, and a variety of other diseases. Many of the children, especially in Rwanda but across all our partnerships, are cared for by the elderly. Grandparents and other aging community members have lovingly stepped up to care for children whose parents have died or are absent for other reasons. Families in poverty are extremely vulnerable for a host of reasons. Please join us in fervent prayer for their protection and safety.
As for the Lahash staff based in Portland, Oregon, and in Nairobi, Kenya, the work of the ministry continues. We are taking care to follow safety protocols around social distancing and are working from home when directed by local authorities. Many new technological tools are allowing us to continue strong in our work during this global health crisis. The needs are certainly as great as ever, and we are trusting God to help us adapt to all current and future changes in the way we carry out this vital work.
The mission of Lahash is carried out because so many compassionate and generous people have joined us in it. Through child sponsorship, through supporting our staff members, and through general donations toward our ongoing work, we are united in sharing hope, increasing health, and changing lives. Thank you all for being part of this mission. None of us know what the full economic or societal impact of this global pandemic will prove to be, and yet we know where our hope truly lies. May we all experience the peace and hope of Jesus Christ as we navigate these uncertain times, and may we continue in faith to support and serve the most vulnerable in His name!
We are praying that quick solutions will be found to this outbreak and that lives will be spared. But whether the battle against this Coronavirus is short or long, we at Lahash will continue to stand with East Africa’s vulnerable and with the church in the region.
- Pray – please join us in praying that God will spare lives, give wisdom to those in the medical and research communities, and use the global church to rise up to the challenges of our day. Pray that we will all serve with hope, joy, generosity, and wisdom. Pray that when anxiety and fear attempt to take root that our peace and confidence will be found in Christ and His good character.
- Give – We are delivering essential emergency assistance to our partners to help them prepare for the needs ahead. This is in the form of food, fuel, and medical supplies. The medical supplies will be in the form of pain medicines and protective gear for our social workers and medical partners who will be on the front lines providing assistance to the kids and families. The services available in each town and city are often insufficient to care for all of the most vulnerable members. Some of Lahash’s first partnerships were with local East African ministries founded by compassionate church members. They were finding and taking sick neighbors to the hospital – and then caring for them while sick. This type of community-based compassionate care often continues to this day. Our initial grant of $7,000 this month will provide assistance to our partners in order to provide for the 500 children and families served by Lahash. You can donate by clicking this link.
If you have specific questions related to Lahash and how we are carrying out the work of the ministry in these challenging times, please feel free to reach us by phone at 1-503-288-5818 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.