The current situation with Covid 19 in Ethiopia – Our employee Adissu tells us what the situation is like at the moment.

In the second week of May, there were several meetings of pastors and church servants who reported on the situation in the churches. Some of the points were mentioned as follows:

First, COVID-19 disrupted the fellowship of believers. The social life/community is the core for the existence of people. People love to gather together, hold social events, chat face to face and have coffee with neighbours in the community. In church, believers value fellowship – Bible study meetings, prayer sessions, Sunday worship, home fellowship, etc. Restrictions are in place to prevent COVID-19 from hitting the community hard because of social alienation. Everyone I met during the discussions indicated that they missed the fellowship of believers. To overcome this challenge, church leaders use the telephone and social media networks to encourage each other.

Second, COVID-19 had a negative impact on discipleship training for new believers. The spiritual promotion of new believers is challenged by the socially distancing regulation. Since these people are new to the faith, they need continuous teaching, prayer and fellowship with other believers. In some churches pastors have tried to teach one or two people in a class individually, respecting social distancing, washing their hands and using hand disinfectants.

Third, believers who cannot read their Bibles and spiritual lessons are the group most affected by disruption to church programs. These people usually cultivate their spiritual lives by listening to the teachings given in the Church. Those who can read and write and have access to the Internet can get online access to the Bible lessons offered by MKC HO and their local churches.
Fourth, COVID-19 has had a negative impact on the economic performance of the Church. Since many of the members were not able to pay their contributions to the Church through tithes, offerings, and other gifts, COVID-19 has had a negative impact on the economic performance of the Church. In rural areas, where bank services are less common, believers usually bring their tithes and offerings when they attend Sunday worship services. When the church program ended, “sacrifice” was also stopped. As a result, the churches are struggling to cover basic expenses, especially the salaries of the full-time ministers.

Fifthly, some pastors mentioned the positive experience they have had because of COVID-19. There is an increase in the practice of personal prayer, scripture reading and family devotions. People tend to repent for personal and collective sins.

Finally, the response to COVID-19 in the recent past has brought people who were divided along ethnic and political lines. People put aside their differences and joined forces to overcome the problems caused by the pandemic.

The national office is currently assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the whole church ministry and the way local churches are dealing with the pandemic. The goal is to use the results as input for the development of an effective strategy to enable the church to continue its ministry in the context of COVID-19. These are the points we can put into prayer.

 

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