The novel coronavirus has spread to at least 187 countries around the globe. It has changed the way that we live. The number of cases in Madagascar is low compared to many countries but the risks of the disease spreading across the country are great.
The Malagasy Lutheran Church reached out to the LCMS for support through a grant to help them spread awareness about the COVID-19 virus. The campaign aims at preventing and reducing the spread of the virus, particularly in the SPAM—North of Nania Synod region. Also, people will be provided with the tools to protect themselves and this will enable the church to share the Gospel.
The virus knows no bounds, affecting young and old, rich, and poor. There is a growing concern about how dangerous this can be to the people of the SPAM region. The virus is aggressive to people with a weak immune system, and a large population in Vakinankaratra Region where the SPAM is located is affected by malnutrition and undernutrition. This large population is at high risk of being hit by the virus.
Churches in Madagascar have been closed for about 6 weeks. The awareness campaign will engage pastors and church workers to serve their communities. This will be done by handing out flyers, with information on the COVID-19 and how it can be stopped and avoided, according to guidelines from the WHO and by sharing the Gospel. The second part is the donation of tools to help people protect themselves from the virus. Mobile hand washing stations will be donated in each district and parish, as well as soaps and masks.
The Malagasy Lutheran Church continues to care for her flock in this time of hardship. Pastors, evangelists, and church leaders have taken on the task of helping their members as they face the current pandemic.