Following release of the latest government guidance on Coronavirus and COVID-19, we wanted to update everyone about zm’s work in the UK and Malawi.
All our UK office staff are now working from home. We are checking the answerphone every day and visiting the office to collect any post at least twice per week. There may therefore be a slightly increased delay compared to usual in responding to your letters. I work full-time from home, so please contact me by phone (01904 634288 or 07788 763761) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need an urgent response. We won’t be visiting churches until restrictions on travel and church meetings are lifted. Our representatives will be in touch with you to seek to rearrange any meetings or services as soon as it is clear when these restrictions will be lifted. If you are holding virtual church services, they are happy to contribute to these if you wish. My forthcoming visit to Malawi in April/May will not be going ahead. We have also postponed Simon and Edna Chikwana’s planned visit to the UK in June.
Although Malawi has not yet had any confirmed cases of Coronavirus, at the end of last week Malawi’s President declared a state of disaster. The situation is made more complicated by some of the underlying political issues in Malawi – their constitutional court recently ordered a rerun of last year’s presidential election which was being contested by President Mutharika. The state of disaster has led to the closure of all schools and colleges from today onwards. All public gatherings have been restricted to less than 100 people. A travel ban on foreign nationals from countries highly affected by coronavirus has also been put in place. This has impacted on the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi, which sent all its students home with effect from Monday 23rd March. Malawi will be particularly susceptible to the virus due to its limited healthcare provision and the population’s vulnerability due to malnutrition and HIV. Please pray that the country is shielded from the impact of coronavirus.
We have pulled together a video summary of the latest news from the mission that you may wish to use in one of your virtual church services or share with those in your church. See below.
We also have six editions of a children’s newspaper called Zambesi Times available. You can access the latest edition (ZT6) at our resources page and earlier editions (ZT 1-5) here. Alternatively please get in touch if you would like us to send you one or more copies of each edition to your home address. They are aimed at helping children to understand more about Malawi and zm’s work (and have fun!).
In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, those in our church and house group have found the words of Psalm 91 very reassuring at this time:
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust”.
Psalm 91: 1-2
May our mighty God, our fortress, shield and protect you (and those we love, care and pray for) under His wings at this difficult time.
With kind regards from,
Mission Director – zambesi mission