First of all we are doing well as whole. Senegal’s cases of the virus for the moment are lower and there hasn’t been any deaths yet. However that hasn’t stoped the fear from seeping in. We live in a country where sickness and death are a normal part of life, but the fears for outside countries are contageous and have been caught here as well.
The effects of this crisis haven’t hit Senegal until recently, but they are starting to hit. Here are some implications we have seen…
- Schools have been closed and it is unsure at what point they will be reopened. It probably doesn’t quite have the same effect here as it does in other places as kids are still out playing the in streets in some areas.
- Churches are canceled, but each family is encouraged to worship and read God’s word together at home at the same time we would normally be at church.
- All travel is stopped in and out of Senegal. So this means that trips are no longer possible to some of our missionaries in other countries in West Africa for the moment. It also means that most of our missionaries can’t get out for the time being until restrictions are lifted.
- Just yesturday a ban on travel to other regions was added, meaning that we can no longer visit people in other towns even in the same country. We are looking for ways to continue our visits with people remotely.
- The economic struggles hit quicker here. People can’t stock up here and many live day by day so when they don’t have a job they don’t have food to eat. And by this I mean literally no food to eat. This is going to be a big concern. I am certain that lots of food items will disappear completely and not come back for months, but am not sure what those items will be.
- It is hard to study language when you are limited in who you can connect with, so it wil be a struggle for our folks to keep momentum going during this time. We are constantly discussing strategies for engaging language learning and other ministries.
- There has been an increase of fear towards white people. We haven’t expereinced this personally but other have had people calling out “corona” to them when walking down the street.
- We were planning to come back to the US in July. We are still hopeful that we should be able to travel at that point but are prepared to stay longer if we have to.
We are taking things one day at a time and trusting the Lord with each day. We are aware that things could get a lot worse for us here, but thankful it isn’t yet. The good new is that we have more time to complete some updates. So you will be hearing more from me soon.