The Egyptian government has decreased the hours of lockdown from 12 am until 4 am and restaurants and coffee shops have start working again with 25% of their capacity. Churches and mosques are allowed to meet as of July 1, but the coptic and Protestant Egyptian churches have delayed their opening until the end of July because the numbers of people who are infected with COVID-19 is increasing in Egypt.
The weather in Egypt is very hot right now, around 100 to 110, because 95% of Egypt is desert. This fact makes it very hard for the people to wear face masks in the subway or public transportation.
Because hospitals are full of patients, sick people are locking themselves at homes and are very hesitant to share that they are infected. Many people from the medical teams have passed away as the result of working in hospitals or clinics. Millions of Egyptians don’t have medical insurance and don’t have the money to visit a doctor or get medicine.
Many great leaders of the Egyptian churches rested in the Lord (have died) because of COVID-19. The head of the Faith Domination rested in the Lord and six pastors from Assembly of God Church and their families were infected. Many priests from the coptic church have been infected and some of them have rested in the Lord. There are no physical meetings or masses right now, and most of the churches are having an online meetings.
Many members of the churches have passed away and many are in a very critical conditions. The churches are helping some of these families to buy medicines, food and money. So they buy the food bags and put them outside the door and then the people open later to find what they needs. Also churches have groups of people who call the sick people are pray with them on the phone.
The economic situation is very hard because many people have lost their jobs or are in lock down. Even for pastors the financial situation is very difficult. So remember your brothers and sisters in the Lord in your prayers. The education also is very difficult. All the schools have stopped since the middle of March, and there is uncertainty if or when they will start the schools again.
In this hard time many NGOs and Christians ministries have shut down. But Indigenous Ministries is still working in these hard places because of the help and support of our prayer and financial partners here in the US and our teams in the field. Ministry has expanded, because we have been able to help more families than the ones in our program.
One of our team in Egypt, Pastor Emad, who is responsible for the child sponsorship program in Egypt has had COVID touch his family. His mother was infected with corona and she had to self quarantine in her home, but she is recovering well. Pastor Emad sent his wife and their three children to her father’s home to stay there for two weeks and isolated himself. Thankfully we have a large team who are are handling the coming food distribution to the families in the program. One of the children in Egypt, Ramez Reda, lost his uncle because of COVID. Please keep our ministry team, the children in the program and their families in your prayers. God bless you. Reda Khalil, Indigenous Ministries Middle East Coordinator, Colorado Springs office.