May 28, 2020

‘Fearless on the Frontlines’

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to circulate the globe and afflict thousands of new patients every day, our call to serve is loudest, and we cannot sit, watch and do nothing, but instead, we are on the frontline to provide aid to those in need wherever we are. 

With millions of confirmed cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths, the coronavirus’s impact has left cities, states, and countries with no choice but to take drastic yet needed measures to prevent further infection. Aggressive regulatory measures have been introduced to avoid new infections and “flatten the curve” of transmission.

Zimbabwe has not been spared from this global response to the pandemic. The country has been on lockdown for the past couple of months; only workers deemed “essential” commute to and from their workplaces and interact with people every day. These include healthcare providers, grocery store employees, food aid workers, and law enforcement, to mention a few. The rest of the population has been at home, and sadly they have no access to their regular sources of income. 

In such difficult times, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is among the frontline workers who are actively serving communities across Zimbabwe.

“Our brave men and women are boldly out every day, dressed in protective gear, scared like everyone else but not moved, because we have a mission, we have a call to stand up for justice, to show compassion, and to touch many hearts with love,” ADRA Zimbabwe director Judith Musvosvi said during her field visit to the Seke District, one of the sites where ADRA is distributing food rations.

Currently, ADRA Zimbabwe continues to serve a total of 175,711 households with monthly rations of food aid in partnership with the World Food Programme. Though most of our staff are in the field working, some are working from home to stay safe and healthy as we, at the same time, make sure we are doing our part to flatten the curve.

We are interacting and conducting all our meetings virtually through video conferencing software. Of course, we all miss worshiping together, laughing together, being able to stop by each other’s cubicles to ask a question or to simply say hi. Some days it feels tedious and hard. Other days are just lonely. But we know this is only for a period of time. We believe God is able and He will deliver us from this pandemic in the fullness of time.

Our partnership with the church in Zimbabwe is solid, and many churches are coming forward to donate through ADRA during this pandemic period. So far, with the help of the church, we have managed to donate food and other essentials to a local orphanage. We continue to call for a partnership with the church, and we are confident that we will keep working together to assist local communities.

Today, as with all other days, we must keep the world’s poorest and most vulnerable in mind. While it is the responsibility of governments and employers to safeguard the health and well-being of working people, we believe it is everyone’s responsibility to advocate for programs, responses, and policies that help create positive change for all. 

The original version of this story was posted by the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division Adventist Echo.