Distributing supplies of food, hygiene items and other essentials has been a priority all around the world. In the Philippines, this has meant accessing specially set up government quarantine facilities such as requisitioned sports centres and other public buildings.
In Lesotho and Argentina, food parcels are being given to those most in need.
With the economic impact of the pandemic likely to be felt for years to come, employment support is already being provided in many places. The UK’s Employment Plus service offers sustained help for those experiencing joblessness, such as assistance in finding vacancies, and training to improve job applications and interview skills.
Restrictions on mass gatherings continue to prevent regular church services being held in numerous countries. Lots of centres have been providing online ministry during this time, and in Uganda an investment has been made in new media equipment. The team, based at The Salvation Army’s Territorial Headquarters, hopes this will improve the technical quality of its offering, which reaches thousands of people.
Holiday camps form an important part of Salvation Army ministry around the world each year. With these residential programmes unable to go ahead as planned at the moment, several centres are developing alternatives. Across the USA, games, art supplies and food have been packaged up for distribution to local families, with the goal of keeping connected and bringing some cheer during the longer break from school.
In Australia, a virtual musical is being arranged. Recordings of participants acting, singing and dancing will all be brought together to create ‘Three Bags Unpacked’, a retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son. The team behind the project believes that one positive of the current situation is being forced to think in creative ways to come up with new and exciting ideas.
Please keep all those affected by coronavirus in your prayers, and for the long-term efforts to support the vulnerable.