Hi friends, Lauren here- We want to give an update on how things are going in South Africa during this pandemic. On 26 March, the president of South Africa ordered a very strict, 3-week lockdown. At that time there was only 927 positive cases. Two weeks into the lockdown the President, Cyril Ramaphosa, issued another 2 week extension so we had three more weeks to go. Today, 3,465 people have been infected resulting in 58 deaths. Many in the country applauded the president for his concern and early strict lockdown, though the restrictions are producing increasing civil unrest. The lockdown in South Africa means you are only allowed to leave your house for groceries, gas, or pharmaceuticals. We aren’t even allowed to take walks. We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth and we can’t take a coastal drive to get the kids out of the house. In fact, you may be pulled over at one of the many road blocks to check for proof of where and why you are on the road.
How are we staying sane you ask, with three toddlers cooped up in the house?! The kids thrive on a schedule. We have pictures posted of our schedule each day so they know things like what will happen, how many snacks they get, and what special thing they have to look forward to that day. I will share some photos of our “coronacation”. It’s working like a charm and the days are flying by, which is a little bittersweet for this mama! Our Bible time part of the day (which often stretches to dinner time) has become so precious to us. The kids understand we can’t leave the house and they are only allowed to play in our tiny “rock garden”, but they think they are sick. They say “mommy I feel better” or “how much longer till I’m not sick”. Henry (1) especially has tried to escape the house and few times as he reaches for the sky and Lola (3) just misses her social life. But Lennon (4) has been asking some good questions and as much a these social butterflies miss the outside world, we are cherishing these precious moments with our little ones. We know this isn’t true for everyone but we are so blessed to have this sweet time with our kids to play games, read bible stories, bake, and make so many memories.
However this country is struggling with hunger because if you aren’t working in the healthcare system or grocery store you aren’t going to work. While some businesses are able to work from home or able to still pay their employees, some are not receiving an income or won’t for much longer. We received a message from our dear friends in the township that shared they don’t have any more food in the house. This is the same family who is due to have a baby any day. She will have to deliver alone because no one is allowed to enter the hospital besides the patient. There is another family who we have also been supplying groceries for but it’s getting very desperate and dangerous. Riots and looting have started even a few miles away where we could hear gun shots from our home. Would you risk you and your families health to provide essential goods to your starving friends? We have to be careful but we know we are called to take care of the poor. So we covet your prayers as we maneuver our efforts to help our neighbors.
God has been teaching us many things during this time. Beginning with having faith over fear, I know Christ is greater than Coronavirus and He’s not surprised by this awful disease but sometimes I fall into the trap of fear. Lennon and Lola struggle with asthma at times so fear took over knowing they would be more susceptible to contracting the virus. I was fearful for the last month as I began to have breathing problems at night, only after being tested for Covid-19 and getting a negative result and my doctor now thinking it’s just a new allergy since moving to the Cape. Praise Jesus! I keep finding myself in the book of Psalms and reading verses on fear and worry. Whenever I start to get fearful I pray and read scripture to remind myself that God’s got this! Psalm 90:14 says “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
Some people assume that because we live in a “developing country” it must be worse. That’s not the case yet, as our numbers are still low and we have a decent healthcare system. We check in on our friends and family often, especially in Ohio, to see how everyone is managing. We are surprised with the “freedom” Americans have during their “stay at home order”. And as we see each day the number of positive cases climb in the States we are thankful to be here! We do pray for all our friends and family in the States that they stay healthy, but most of all draw close to Jesus during this time. Even though ministry looks different right now, we know He wants us here, showing His grace and love to our neighbors. We’ll share more how we’re doing that in our next blog 😉