From a Jamaican Christian leader
We give thanks for God’s hand of grace over the island of Jamaica during this pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) has commended the Government and people of Jamaica on their response to the crisis. As of today (July 22, 2020) Jamaica has total of 816 confirmed case of the coronavirus, with 710 recoveries and 10 deaths. A similar trend exists across the Caribbean with several islands recording no deaths from COVID 19 to date (Dominica, St. Lucia, St Kitts, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada).
However, the economic impact has been devastating, especially on the poor. The Caribbean is a tourism-dependent economic area. With borders closed, the hospitality industry shut down, and small craft vendors having no markets to sell their products, the countries are reeling with economic pain. Major losses have been incurred across industries. Unemployment is high. Fear and disorientation are plaguing many.
- for the Churches as they struggle with social distance requirements of the Public Order regulations issued by Government, including limitations on numbers of persons permitted to physically gather publicly. Many churches have seen congregations scatter, some have opened up virtual worship services, weekly prayer meetings, and online bible studies. Others are finding the digital worship experience frustrating and less desirable. Pray that in all this, the vitality of Christian witness in Jamaica will not be diminished and the Gospel will still shine forth.
- for pastors and Church leaders who themselves are trying to cope, amidst the anxieties and uncertainties of the time. There is great fear of the future as the nation steps cautiously into the unknown, especially as Government tries to reopen the economy, in particular the tourism sector on which so much depends.
- for all the workers on the frontlines in the health sector (doctors, nurses, all the health professionals), as they try to limit the spread of the coronavirus and maintain good public health. May God in His Mercy strengthen the work of their hands.