Friends of Redeemer I ELCA Global Mission

Dear friends,

Across Southern Africa it was a different Easter in many ways. Because of COVID-19 lockdowns people were unable to travel or gather over the Easter weekend for the traditional three-hour long Good Friday service, the all-night Easter Vigil service and joyous Easter Sunday services, but it was the same message shared via various social media platforms: Christ has died! Christ is Risen! Christ will come again!

While the Republic of South Africa currently has the greatest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Southern Africa at 3635 the numbers are expected to increase exponentially across the region in the coming winter months especially in densely populated urban areas and informal settlements. In many communities keeping social distance is almost impossible, health care systems are weak and health is compromised by HIV&AIDS, TB, malaria and poor nutrition. Hunger is a very serious threat. Governments are looking at ways to stimulate struggling economies and to ramp up social support systems. Many churches, businesses and non-governmental organizations are struggling to survive due to loss of income as they also try to find ways to assist employees, families as well as communities hardest hit by the pandemic.

ELCA Global Mission will continue to support mission personnel, companion churches, mission outreach and Diakonia/World Hunger development and emergency response projects as much as possible during this difficult and uncertain time as everyone is affected in one way or another.

Leaders of Lutheran churches in the region have expressed their appreciation for the companionship of the ELCA Global Mission and ELCA Companion Synods during this challenging time and offer their prayers in return.

Thank you for your prayers and support and your participation in God’s mission locally and globally.

Yours faithfully,

Rev. Dr. Philip Knutson
ELCA Global Mission Regional Representative – Southern Africa
Johannesburg, April 23, 2020

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