As the Coronavirus pandemic reaches further around the world, we’re in touch with our partners overseas and remember that while we pray and support them, they too are praying for us and our families.
Fr Francis is a Kenyan Mill Hill Missionary and Parish Priest in one of the most impoverished parishes in Kenya – Shauri Moyo, also called the ‘slum parish’ by the locals. In Kenya, there are now over 280 confirmed cases of the virus. The recall of parliament has been cancelled and there is a travel ban in the country.
Fr Francis told us:
‘Things have really taken a turn and left majority of the world in confusion. We try to follow news everyday with attentive ears to hear something of good news but to no avail. We stand in solidarity with you back in England.’
The Holy Father has established an emergency fund to help people and communities tragically impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. He has asked each one of us to contribute what they can to help the Church overseas, through Missio. Please donate today>>
‘There is dead silence’
‘Here in Kenya, there is dead silence especially at night when we have the dawn to dusk curfew.’
He described that there is now not much going on, and said a good number of people have opted to go to the villages, where they feel safe.
But many people are struggling with everyday life:
‘There have been calls for the President to do something like ordering landlords to waiver rent for two months and for Kenya power and water companies not to bill people for at least two months, but we are yet to hear.
‘We have been lucky since we had some food stuffs with us, and we continue to share little by little with those who pass by our doors. We fear it is now running out.’
As this crisis forces people out of work, the poorest will be hit the hardest. Together we can support missionaries who are at the forefront of dealing with the most vulnerable people. Please donate>>
It is comforting to hear that people in the local community are looking out for each other.
‘Good Samaritans visit us with a packet of milk or even a bunch of bananas just to check on us and offer us something to eat,’ shares Fr Francis. ‘It is very inspiring. We continue to hope for the best in all.’
Just like here in the UK, Fr Francis explains that all gatherings were suspended more than two weeks ago, including church services.
‘We have Mass only here in the house daily, the four of us. We are always in dilemma when people visit (not many but those who pass by). These people need us and want to talk with us as pastors, but at the same time we have the threat of the virus. We try our level best to balance. Since we can’t visit them in their houses, at least we listen to them when they come.
‘With time, it is clear, it will be tough for thousands of our people here and across the country. We have already experienced few demonstrations from small scale traders, whose businesses were closed.’
‘We keep each other in prayer’
Despite the worry and uncertainty, Fr Francis wants to communicate a message of hope to our supporters in England and Wales:
‘We shall not give up. We shall press on and we shall defeat the Coronavirus pandemic. We keep each other in prayer. Greetings from all of us here. May the coming Easter renew and strengthen you even more.’
Please join us
At Missio, we’re committed to supporting our sisters and brothers around the world, through any challenges, struggles and hardships. We will continue to work as best we can during this Coronavirus pandemic.
If you are able, please help support missionaries and faith communities in remote areas that have no access to healthcare and are unable to wash their hands due to the lack of fresh running water. Donate here>>
Please pray for all of us who are suffering through loss, loneliness and uncertainty. Join us in prayer>>