Today was beautiful and sunny with a slight breeze on Day 27 of the South African (SA) Lockdown.
Recently, SA president Cyril Ramaphosa made his second national address about the Covid-19 pandemic. He extended the national lockdown until the end of April. First, he expressed most of the existing lockdown measures will remain in force. I realized after talking with US family & friends there is a vast difference between South Africa’s Lockdown and their US States’ “Stay-at-Home” orders. In our area restaurants are closed, Melanie’s heart sunk on the eve of the SA Lockdown. The 24-hour McDonalds she hoped to buy dinner from was shut down. Our guest bathroom’s toilet seat broke a week ago, this will not be fixed because all hardware stores are closed. Most of my American friends are shocked when they hear the sale and transport of alcohol & cigarettes in the country is prohibited during the lockdown. Additionally, the SA president shared he will roll out community screening and testing throughout the nation. Healthcare workers have screened over 900,000 individuals and if symptoms are presented a decision is made on the spot for the person to be tested. Over 100,000 have been tested, 3465 are positive with 58 deaths. Have you been tested?
Economic troubles caused by the pandemic has allowed my team to share financial gifts or groceries to friends in need. A ministry colleague died during this time, because of the many restrictions we viewed his service and burial online. It was good to see his wife, children and grandchildren celebrate his life. God’s Word, prayer and the Holy Spirit has helped me lead my team and give ministry insight during this time.
During our lockdown couple reflection times, my wife has shared ministry disappointments and life fears. As she wrestled, her countenance changed when she realized we have three teenagers and adulthood is around the corner. This uninterrupted, lockdown family time we are cherishing as parents. We agreed that in times of testing James said it best, “Consider it pure joy…” (James 1:2-4).