My Christmas Newsletter was sent out on Christmas Day, so, however this is a few days later, it is how life is at the moment.
With the following link you come to my first newsletter written after return to DR Congo.
We have gone through an intelligent lockdown, a loosening up of restrictions, and now these are tightened again because numbers of covid-19 infections are on the rise another time. Today new infections in The Netherlands rose to 3252.
These 7 months I have stayed with my parents and I have been able to keep an eye on them, and help them in the house and doing the grocery shoppings.
In my home church new exploits have been started. The Sunday morning service is being broadcasted through livestream, we have a new pastor and some new elders and deacons. September 20 was the inauguration of the pastor and his wife, although they have been serving the church since April first.
Meanwhile in Adi
In May we had to cancel two workshops Channels of Hope because in Congo there was a lockdown as well, and I even was not able to return. One of the workshops was destined for the women students at the Adi Bible Institute, and Ayila could organise a workshop together with Margaret the beginning of September. They had two days with the women, and one of the medical doctors of the hospital in Adi could come in to teach about covid-19 as well. It was great to see some photo’s taken during the workshop, although the quality is not optimal.
And did I write last time about some funding for a small covid-19 project to create awareness among the people in the health zone of Adi how to prevent its spread, I can tell you that the same organisation has doubled the amount given. We are very grateful for this and are praising God for His provision.
What is ahead?
Covid-19 here in The Netherlands is again on the rise. However, in DRC the the declared number of COVID-19 cases is now 10.685 with 272 death. In Ituri, the province where we find Bunia and Adi, the number of cases has been declared to be 153. There is no covid-19 yet in Adi, although it has been diagnosed 45 kilometers south of Adi.
However, I have decided in contact with AIM and church leadership, to return to DRC for 6 months. I will leave from Schiphol Airport on October 7 to arrived via Frankfurt and Addis Ababa in Goma (DRC) on Thursday the 8th. From there I will fly to Bunia. I will travel with two people from Wycliffe and meet up with another AIM missionary in Addis. The four of us will continue to Bunia together. I will stay in Bunia for about a week to talk with church and mission leadership.
I have peace with this decision, still need to be tested though (on Monday). The thing that I want to ask you is to accompany me with your prayers, and I would like to ask you to pray for my parents as well. Pray that God will be a shelter to them, keep them safe and in good health. Pray for travel mercies and for wisdom how to deal with the situation I will find in Congo. I know for sure that Margaret, Ayila and the rest of my friends in Adi are thrilled to have me come back.
After I wrote this, I left it and didn’t think about it any more. Information about Covid-19 infections is outdated and will be updated in the next blog. I didn’t want to completely rewrite this one.
Covid-19 in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Until now the Democratic Republic of Congo has more than 9.000 cases of covid-19 as of Monday, with more than 250 deaths but also more than 8.900 people who were healed after being sick with covid-19. Most of the cases are in and around its capital Kinshasa. In the east the cases are fewer, but are present in North and South Kivu. In Ituri the number is rising.
In Adi no cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed. But the threat is huge. There are many cases in Southern Sudan, where fighting is still going on and that brings about refugees who are entering the north of Congo. And in neighbouring health zones cases have been detected. These positive cases give concern to the medical staff of Adi, as road traffic is frequent on some of the routes.
A small project
The end of last week I received a mail saying that there is a possibility for funding of a small project concerning covid-19 and how to prepare for the possibility of covid-19 in Adi. The people in Adi have written a project and we have applied for this funding. The hospital means to teach the population about covid-19 through the radio and brochures, while also buy personal protection equipement, like masks, gloves and handgel and make sure that patients and their families have also the possibility to wash their hands. And last but not least, they like to train the hospital personnel in the prevention and care of covid-19.