Christians are called to care for the poor, and one of the ways we do that at Welcome Church is by encouraging people to sponsor children through Compassion UK, specifically in the African country of Togo. As a church we currently sponsor 141 children in one particular area of that country, and there is always room for that to increase – just ask me how. You can read more about it here.
What is happening in Togo with coronavirus?
The government of Togo has taken preventative measures against the spread of Coronavirus in their country. Gatherings of more than 15 people are banned, travel is limited, borders are closed, and schools have been closed. The major cities are in lockdown, and a nationwide curfew is in effect from 8pm to 6am.
Although official figures for infection rates in the country are not high, there is very little testing going on in most developing countries. In reality the virus is spreading across Africa at an alarming rate, especially in the cities where many people live in poor and cramped conditions.
What about the Compassion project we support?
Across Togo, Compassion staff and local church partners are working hard to provide support to children and families wherever possible. While many Compassion projects are temporarily closed to group activities, that doesn’t mean all the activities have stopped.
At the project where most of the children we support are based, the group activities are currently on hold, and our letters and gifts may take longer than usual to be delivered.
In the mean time staff and volunteers are providing much needed information to children and their families about hygiene and disease prevention as well as distributing food packages to the most vulnerable.
Individual home visits are also continuing for Child Survival Programmes, helping pregnant mothers and their babies.
One of the strengths of the way Compassion work, and one of the reasons I appreciate them so much, is that the local church directly implements the programme in their own community; it is not a programme run by ‘experts’ or ‘saviours’ coming in from outside.
Because it is all delivered by the local church, they are uniquely positioned to provide support, and don’t depend on an ability to travel in order to ensure children and their families receive the love and care they need. Many churches in Togo are also providing hand-washing facilities to serve their community.
Should I still write letters?
During this time communication will inevitably take longer, but please keep on writing.
If you’re struggling to know what to write, Compassion have put together a few tips, including how to ask appropriate questions about COVID-19, how to be sensitive to the situation, how to encourage your sponsored child and how to pray. You can read that by clicking here.
How can I best pray for my sponsored child?
- Pray for protection from the virus for all the children registered with Compassion and for their families, especially the child(ren) you sponsor
- Pray for the church (Lumière Espérance), and for their staff and volunteers
- Pray for the health and safety of all of the staff in the Togo office
- Pray for children still longing for a sponsor to be encouraged, loved and cared for during this long wait
- Pray for sponsors and their families who have been impacted by the virus
If you want more information, click here for some frequently ask questions
Finally: A Big Thank You
Here is a short video from Justin Dowds, the CEO of Compassion UK, specifically thanking us at Welcome Church for what we do: