When I left Adi on February 17, the corona virus already ravaged in China, but was not yet an issue elsewhere in the world. How quickly that has changed. In the week after having arrived in The Netherlands the first corona patient was announced in a TV talk with the minister of health on February 27. When I had my medical check-up in the Leiden University Medical Centre the doctors didn’t shake hands anymore, and disinfectant was available at the entrance of the hospital. By the way, my medical check-up was fine, no problems at all.
The situation in The Netherlands deteriorated quickly. And while at the beginning of March I was thinking that my trip to Israel might be cancelled, but I would make it to Uganda by the end of April and that I would be in time for the first workshop of Channels of Hope with the women of the Adi Bible School. But that is not to be. Now all borders are closed, even in Uganda and in the DRC schools have closed down. Please pray for the 29 children that we support with our program Bethsaida. Four of them would sit for their final exams. Church gatherings in Congo are forbidden and only groups of less than 20 people are allowed. Doctors and nurses in Adi hospital are afraid that corona will present itself at the hospital. Cases have been detected in Kinshasa and already also five in North Kivu. North Kivu is the province that has had lots of trouble with ebola, and the last case of ebola left the hospital when I was already in The Netherlands. Also they still struggle with attacks of rebels of the ADF. And now this. Please pray for the hospital workers in Congo, for their protection and for wisdom and that God will help them. I know that the medical staff in Adi fears that corona might reach Adi. In Ituri there are two cases of corona.
Last week the news was published that just before announcing the end of the ebola epidemic a new case was detected in Beni. There have been three cases so far.
So, what am I doing?
I am staying with my parents, and the three of us stay pretty much at home. My dad walks with their dog three times a day and my mom regularly takes a walk outside just to have a ‘fresh nose’, as we say in Dutch. Shopping is done mostly by me together. We buy a bit more, but we don’t ‘hamster’ or stockpile. It was a stupid sight on television to see people leaving the supermarket with a big stock of toilet paper. I listen to sermons, read and I have started a small course of a month about member care. I am already behind but it is a good course (Member Care Foundations) and I definitely plan to finish it.
This afternoon I received a voice mail of Ayila, one of my colleagues in Adi. Ayila is a nurse working in Adi Hospital in the treatment program for people living with HIV. Furthermore he is helping me as a facilitator in the workshops of ‘Channels of Hope’. In this mail he expressed his concerns about the people living with ARV who have to go to Uganda for their ARV. Now with the corona the borders have been closed, and both Uganda and Congo are pretty much in a lockdown. Many cannot cross the border and without ARV their health will deteriorate. Also food is becoming a problem, while people living with HIV who are taking ARV have to eat well. Ayila is asking for prayer and practical help. They could already help people as I left money with the accountant of the hospital to prepare the first of the workshops in Adi, but because of the restrictions this will not take place. I am glad that he felt free to start helping people living with HIV with food with this money. Even today he visited a woman with HIV and could help her and two others with ARV and food.
- That God will facilitate that people living with HIV can go to Uganda for their ARV;
- That others can be assisted at Adi hospital, and that the supply of ARV will not dry up; so pray also for a good collaboration with the medical authorities in Congo;
- For wisdom for me how I can be of help to them.
- Pray if you can assist financially.
If you are in The Netherlands there are two possibilities. You can directly transfer money to the AIM account which is:
IBAN is NL91 RABO 0155 6577 12
Or you can go to the following site to donate your gift. http://dms.vigilantdms.nl:81/AIMInt/adres004.html#steun
If you are not in The Netherlands, you can go to the following website and donate your gift. http://www.aimint.org
Please make a note that the money is destined for the Hospital of Adi (Ziekenhuis Adi) in DR Congo for the assistance of people living with HIV during the corona crisis. After reception, I will make sure that the money will be transferred to the hospital bank account in Aru and will follow the use of the money.
Thank you so much for your prayers and assistance.