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We count the blessings

Many South Africans live in complete poverty in crowded locations, or go hungry because they are no longer working, so the situation has been bleak.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the front-line workers world-wide. Every night at 8pm, we stand outside our front door to cheer and clap for them. But even now, weeks into lock-down, the cheering is starting to lose its enthusiasm.

Although the U.S is getting hit hard, South Africa also has its COVID-19 cases. With so many people living in complete poverty in crowded locations that prevent social distancing, with so many people at high-risk due to Tuberculous and HIV/AIDS, and with so many people going hungry because they are no longer working, the situation is bleak. In addition, we are going into winter here, so many people are going to be cold soon since clothing and blankets were not on the original list of essential services. It is easy to get completely overwhelmed.

We are not allowed to leave the house except to go to the grocery store or to get medical care. No walks, no jogs, no driving around for a change of scenery. The army enforces this. The girls and I have not left our property for over a month now. Our little dog has given up on requesting a walk. 

We know many people who do not have enough food to eat, so we are helping them with money or food. Our community is collecting 6000 sandwiches/week to distribute to the needy in the local township Masiphumelele. How this works is that we each make 60 sandwiches at home and drop them at a small grocery store where the liaison picks them up.

Despite these challenges, it is good to count the blessings. Crime is down in the communities, as alcohol is banned. Gangs are forming truces, because the drug market is paused since no one has money.

Personally, this time is also a blessing for us. It is a sabbatical from all the running around that previously consumed our days. We love our new house and yard. We are enjoying each other’s company. We are gardening, doing some home renovations, reconnecting with friends, reading, praying, and playing lots of loud praise music, journaling and resting.”

– Parada family in South Africa during the pandemic