COVID-19 – Awesome Outreach Team
It’s hard to imagine that in early March as we were leaving South Africa, “coronavirus” was a word that was just reaching our vocabulary and COVID-19 had not yet been uttered – not in South Africa anyway.
As we were wrapping up our visit and finishing our task list, we found ourselves with an unplanned morning. So, off we went to a non-perishable food warehouse about an hour away and purchased several months of future food parcels for the families being served by the Bakhita Outreach effort.
Of course, a few weeks later, everyone’s world had changed. As news came that South Africa was seeing their first cases of the virus, the leadership in the country decided to implement very strict rules leading to a country-wide lockdown. The President gave citizens 72 hours to get wherever they needed to be when the country shut down.
They didn’t issue guidelines, they issued orders: each vehicle can have a maximum of two people, markets can only sell food and essential items, no alcohol can be sold anywhere, people must wait in distanced lines to get into the market; the rules are enforced with a robust police presence. We became very concerned for the Outreach children, who live on the supplies provided by Bakhita Charities.
But the awesome Bakhita Outreach Team, Sr. Amaka and Auntie Dinah, jumped into action as soon as the orders were issued. They delivered all the food to the children, along with soap and disinfectant and lessons regarding the importance of washing hands and staying home.
Our partners, the Sacred Heart Sisters, are the best! They are an amazing group of women and we cannot adequately express our admiration and gratitude for all they do – there are no words.
Looking back on that day when we had a few extra hours and decided to shop, we thank God and consider it an Easter blessing.