COVID-19 Update from Southern Africa
Below is an update from Associate Southern Africa Director Charles Changala. The description he provides of African evangelism amid COVID-19 is both humbling and encouraging. We hope you take the time to read and understand the depth of each evangelist’s faithfulness and perseverance during these difficult times.
In the midst of Coronavirus, which has caused 964,752 people to lose their lives as of Sunday, September 20, 2020, the Lord has allowed us to see 1,773,467 precious salvation decisions from March to August 2020 through Reaching Souls International National Missionaries in Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique alone.
Although the number of salvation decisions is bigger than the number of people who lost their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as RSI National Missionaries, we are experiencing as deep a time of global uncertainty as everyone else. Despite all the restrictions that the government authorities have put in place as preventive measures for COVID-19 in our respective countries, our focus is still on the goal that God has called us to do, which is none other than to reach the people for Christ in season and out of season. So, we are very committed to continue with the Reaching Souls mission of reaching the maximum number of people for Christ in the least amount of time in the most efficient way. To God, be all the glory!
By God’s grace and through your prayers and support, we are seeing incredible results since March 2020. However, it is sometimes risky for some National Missionaries to go out and share the Gospel with the unreached people…because of the deadly virus and the restrictions which were declared in our respective countries by the government authorities. In most of the gatherings, it is unsafe because most of the people do not wear masks, and others are not honoring the six-foot social distancing. Sometimes it is not easy to control the people when they start to come for an open-air meeting so that we adhere to the limited number of people allowed to gather as required by the government authorities. In some countries, if someone has done something against COVID-19 preventive measures, they are asked to pay a fine or arrested. But because of passion and calling to reach our own people for Christ, we are always committed to go out to share the truth of the Gospel.
We are comfortable to go out and share the truth of the Gospel during this troubling time because we know that we follow and serve the Lord who loves us and cares for us, who has promised to go with us wherever we go. Another thing that encourages us to go out and reach the people for Christ is that we are seeing that many unbelievers are more willing both to listen and respond positively to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus than ever before. It is important for us believers in these challenging times to make an effort to be light in the darkness, and become known for our bold, compassionate desire to show the love of Jesus to those around us by giving them hope. We are bold enough because we believe God’s word that strengthens us.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
It is encouraging to see that the numbers of new daily confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19 overall in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi has been dropping for a couple of weeks now. Although, in Mozambique, we are seeing a rise in daily new cases. Most of the government authorities in southern Africa have started reopening some economic and social activities like schools, sports, and local and international flights. In many countries, the number of daily confirmed cases has been dropping for a couple of weeks now. It is our hope and prayer that the situation in Mozambique should also be like the neighbouring countries, so the government authorities should ease the restrictions as well.
We want to thank the leadership and partners of Reaching Souls International for being part of what the Lord is doing in our countries. We have seen all these results because of your prayers and financial support you have been investing in us. You are always in our prayers.