Christ is Risen! – Resurrection Hope in Lockdown

People worshiping in church in South Sudan
Photo – Samaritan’s Purse

The Guarantee of the Empty Tomb

A very happy (slightly belated) Easter to you! Despite the ongoing spread of Covid-19 and devastating locust swarms across East Africa, our brothers and sisters there share in the amazing, unchanging news that Christ rose from the dead, guaranteeing our eternal inheritance which will never fade. This week we hear about how lockdown is impacting Manna Microfinance, introducing new challenges for participants.
Coronavirus cases map

Material and Spiritual Impacts of the Pandemic

The spread of Covid-19 in South Sudan has indirect effects beyond the primary issue of infection. Clergy from the Episcopal Church of South Sudan report that local prices are beginning to soar on top of the already high inflation rates and that the closure of borders is complicating the supply of vital food from Uganda. In terms of spiritual impacts, many thousands of low-income, illiterate Christians are no longer able to hear the Word of God as preaching is limited to the Internet, TV and radio. False teaching relating to fake coronavirus cures is on the rise.
Participants in Manna Microfinance

Manna Microfinance Adjusting Activities

Manna Microfinance staff have started to work with more field activities in the morning and office-based work in the afternoon because during lockdown, the government are recommending that organisations work half days.

Otherwise, Manna is still active as normal. The field staff are attending visits to support groups, administer loans and collect repayments. However, there are signs that nationwide restrictions are starting to take their toll. South Sudanese schools have closed so extra time taken caring for children could affect businesses. Furthermore, women are not able to work to their full potential – most of the sales for those who own shops are usually around 7-9pm and the government-imposed curfew to encourage social distancing begins at 8pm. Hairdressers and those providing non-essential goods like clothes and beauty products are going to be affected as the country enters a period of economic emergency on top of having one of the weakest economies in the world.

Please pray for the staff running Manna Microfinance in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. The project coordinator, Martin Jogoh, sadly recently passed away from an unrelated, long-term illness so please pray especially for his family.