When news of COVID-19 began to take up the whole airwaves a couple of months ago, it was not thought of as a real threat in Kenya; it just appeared far removed. Others reasoned that the African skin complexion has advantage over this infection! Of course, they were wrong. As I write this, Kenya has confirmed 59 Coronavirus cases with one death. In Government's desperate attempt to try and tame this pandemic, all religious gatherings, institutions of learning and social joints have been closed indefinitely. Such closures haven't yielded any positive signs and so the country is on a 'stage two' strategy with a 7 pm to 5 am countrywide curfew. The Government threatens a lock-down unless the people change their behavior. This will bite deeply as larger percentage of the population live from hand to mouth.
With a congregation that is mainly students, casual workers and none employed. How should I or any Christians live during such times? A dear sister in Christ shared with me some words of encouragement. "Lord Craven, a Christian, was a nobleman who was living in London when the plague ravaged the city in the 17th century. In order to escape the spreading pestilence, Craven determined to leave the city for his country home, as many of his social standing did. He ordered his coach and baggage made ready. But, as he was walking down one of the halls of his home about to enter his carriage, he overheard one of his servants say to another, “I suppose, by my Lord’s quitting London to avoid the plague, that his God lives in the country and not in town.” It was a straightforward and, apparently, innocent remark. But it struck Lord Craven so deeply that he canceled his journey, saying, “My God lives everywhere and can preserve me in town as well as in the country. I will stay where I am.” So, he stayed in London. He helped the plague victims, and he did not catch the disease himself." (James M. Boice, Trusting God).
We still don't have our sermons online but I am seeking to encourage my flock the best I can including using WhatsApp, phone calls and SMS. While members are away, a little more work has been done within the church building but much more still remain. We have partitioned two rooms at the back of the auditorium: a mother & baby room and a media center. The doors and one-way glasses are yet to be fixed.
Just before the ban on church meetings came into effect, our youth held their Table Talks #17 on March 14th. Pastor Tony Karwa of Grace Baptist Church - Kisumu came and spoke very helpfully on 'Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.'
I have used much of my time these passed two weeks to finish KReST assignments marking and begin marking the TBC’s PTC assignments.
While we are prevented from holding public worship and so must retreat into our closets, those words of Prophet Isaiah should give us hope: Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a while until the fury has passed by. (Isaiah 26:20)
In Christ by grace,
Naphtally & Helida Ogallo.