I am greeting you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. May His healing power and mercy be upon the whole world.
During this tough and unprecedented situation, which the entire world is facing, I would like to share with you about Handspun Hope here in Rwanda.
Like everywhere else, the global coronavirus pandemic is deeply affecting our community. Daily global and national updates about the pandemic are very shocking and along with isolation and lockdown so many problems are making life very complicated. The number of registered COVID-19 cases in Rwanda has been increasing each day and now stands at 126.
In Rwanda and most other African countries; life depends very much on interdependence between individuals within community. In a time like this, life becomes almost impossible for many people. In Rwanda many people do not have permanent jobs to pay them a monthly salary and many organizations and businesses are unable to provide salaries and wages when they are not generating business. There are so many people who depend on daily pay through small jobs. They must work to live and provide for their dependents, but now everything is closed down. Everyone is waiting for the government or other organizations to donate food for survival. Even though our employees are still safe from COVID-19, like many other citizens, Handspun Hope beneficiaries and staff are definitely facing consequences of the pandemic.
Through our counseling staff, we systematically calling each of the ladies to ask how they are doing during this time. We keep reminding them to stay home, to frequently wash their hands with soap, and to social distance. For those who have smartphones we created a Whatsapp group so that we can keep in touch and continue to share comforting news and advice.
We are thankful to our team of guards and shepherds as they agreed to stay at work to care for our animals and infrastructure. The animals are doing well in spite of slow delivery of their supplemental feed. We are now one week late in delivering immunizations.
In addition to the pandemic, April is a month in which we commemorate the Genocide against Tutsi. Our counselors are making it a priority to keep in touch with our ladies who are direct survivors of the Genocide against Tutsi. For most of them, this is the hardest time of the commemoration, especially when they cannot have company for comfort. This triggers much fear and negative feelings while being alone and abandoned, in spite of minimum remote psychological support provided by our counselors. We know that they are having anxiety about the future as this pandemic continues to devastate the world.
The situation of the pandemic in USA is particularly very worrying to people of Handspun Hope in Rwanda. We know that our organization depends on God’s people who give their donations to the organization and we know that USA has been an important market for our handmade products. We are worried about all of USA staff; board members, donors and we know they are worried about us too.
I recently had a conversation with Diana Wiley, our Executive Director, and I was telling her that we are very worried about her and the entire organization and she reminded me about the Word of God in Matthew… and asked to me share it with the others. This Word of God tells us not to worry and we believe that the Word of God is true. We continue to pray to God so that he can have mercy and stop the pandemic in the name of Jesus Christ. We pray especially for all of those who are sick with heartfelt wishes for a full recovery. We pray for all healthcare workers and the governments around the globe as they continue to work wholeheartedly to care for people in need.
We are so grateful to God for the Handspun Hope team in USA and for all their efforts and love while doing all possible to help the organization survive this horrifying situation.
Finally, I and the team in Rwanda, would like to wish everyone who can read this message a Happy Easter. This Easter is different as it comes during this time of sorrow, pain, death, worries and isolation. However, I believe that it has a sense of what our Lord Jesus went through before the resurrection.
Now with His resurrection, let us pray that God brings the world to life and to new and complete life in the majestic name of His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.