God commands us to lay our worries before him, and many brothers and sisters around the world are doing just that as the coronavirus spreads. Let’s join them and pray!
Several of our partners around the world have reached out to World Challenge and asked for prayer during this COVID-19 pandemic.
In Cambodia, our partners have been notified that all schools are now closed, and the country’s New Year celebrations are canceled.
In another Asian country*, our contacts reported that the government has closed many public businesses and put bans on large gatherings of people, even going so far as to command that no weddings will be allowed for the foreseeable future.
A partner in the Philippines wrote, “They [the government] try to be as transparent and as up-to-date as possible with news on the new numbers of infected, recovered, dead. Commentators are sometimes hyperbolic, however, and it has a tendency to stoke fear and panic which can be a problem as they are popular and often quoted—or misquoted—and this spreads.”
These believers are seeking God’s words in the middle of many fearful, clamoring voices.
Global Reactions Against Coronavirus
Several Cambodian cities are seeing an increase in prices as stores are emptied and people take goods home to stash. Cities are quiet; hotels are closed, and many restaurants are nearly empty.
Our partners uneasily noted that many people are losing their jobs because companies simply cannot afford to keep them on while business is so slow.
Manila, the Philippines’ capital, is entertaining the possibility of a lock-down in the metro area to stall the disease’s progress. Schools are closing, and workers are being told to work from home. Public events with more than a hundred people are prohibited.
Upon entering large public areas, people have to line up to have their temperatures taken. Hand sanitizer dispensers are available everywhere, but our partner also noted that people are spending more time with their children and families since they’re being encouraged to stay home. The public fears about catching the coronavirus are, oddly enough, making some families grow closer.
Those following international news along with their own domestic situation, however, are growing increasingly concerned about the economic impact of COVID.
Not only are they wondering about the possibility of a worldwide recession, but those who work for churches and non-profits are also predicting a reduction of donor giving and wondering if ministries could end up much more disrupted than they already are.
A major concern is for church members who are already struggling against poverty and will have even harder lives in the weeks ahead.
Prayer Requests Around the World
In Cambodia, partners noted that even villagers are becoming afraid from those who come from the city to their rural towns. While they are concerned about staying healthy, they are more apprehensive that the government may use this sickness as an excuse to force all churches to stop gathering.
In another Asian country*, believers are requesting prayers for protection. Their medical personnel and local governments are not prepared to handle a serious outbreak, and the coronavirus could be incredibly devastating there since hospitals have almost no way to help those who become seriously ill. Believers are gathering to worship and pray for God to have mercy on their people.
In the Philippines, our ministry companions ask everyone to pray that the public’s panic and financial fears turn over into faith in God. They hope that this pandemic will make people more conscious of the shortness of our time on earth and spur other believers to new passion for working in God’s harvest.
Also, they ask if we would pray that Christians will not become distressed and abandon the work to which God has called them.
The impact of this disease is causing many believers to cry out to God for comfort, and we invite you to pray for them as well. Please join us as we lift up people around the world to the Father.
If you would like to request prayer, you can visit World Challenge’s prayer page or call our prayer line at 1-833-WC-PRAYS. Prayer line is open 7am-5pm MT.
*For the safety of our partners, we do not name the country where they work if the government tracks and persecutes believers.