[Photo: African girl reading a children’s Bible]
Brother Jeremy is The Voice of the Martyrs’ deputy regional director for Africa. VOM’s Todd Nettleton recently interviewed Jeremy on VOM Radio. Jeremy talked about Christian work in Africa during coronavirus concerns. Read part of their interview below.
Todd: Right now, the overwhelming concern seems like in the whole world is coronavirus….How is that affecting the ability to really get out and see the people we work for around the world?
Jeremy: Well, for Africa right now most of the borders are closed, so it is difficult at this time. One of the things which is really core to who VOM is as a ministry, which is an encouragement to me, is they will say don’t take any unnecessary risks, but take every necessary risk. Meaning that despite the inconveniences, despite even potential sacrifices of getting to these places, if our brothers and sisters in Christ are being persecuted, to serve the local church we will take those risks to be there with them. We will get back as soon as we possibly can.
Todd: I got a picture this week of one of our local staff in Nigeria with a mask on to protect against the virus, but still out delivering aid to Christians who had just been the victims of an attack and encouraging them, praying with them, delivering help to them with a mask on in the midst of the virus. So as you say, our work certainly goes on.
Jeremy: There has been a countrywide lockdown which has resulted in roads between states being closed. People are being required to stay in their homes most days of the week. But yet, that hasn’t stopped the militants from continuing to attack villages, predominately Christian villages throughout the North. You could say the virus has made the people more vulnerable in the sense they have had to stay indoors. In many ways they are sitting ducks. The militants come in, often times late at night….attacking homes, burning down homes, and targeting churches…
Todd: How can our listeners pray?
Jeremy: One thing we can be in prayer for are our teams in Nigeria. With COVID, of course, there are unique challenges in how to respond to the situations that are taking place. But their commitment is incredible. It is incredible for the communities they are serving in. They are still distributing relief. They are taking every opportunity they possibly can to serve the church, to minister to those in need….
But our teams are not only providing for their physical well-being but their spiritual care, their emotional care. So our teams continue to see them and to encourage them. Pray that our teammates would have wisdom in how to speak into their lives and to encourage them in the Word and support them.
(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)