Chad Coronavirus (COVID-19) 1 April 2020 | Barnabas Fund

From a senior pastor

“Here in Chad we have 7 confirmed cases as of two days ago. The confirmed case was on the 19th march 2020 so we expect that with the end of the incubation period we suspect more cases confirmed. The government of Chad has acted fast to order the closing of schools, bars and beer parlours, restaurants, places where people gather including worship places, the airport, mass transport  as well as non-essential businesses.

“The Churches responded fast by heeding to the orders. 

“The Islamic Affairs Council also responded by submission to the government orders. However some radical mosques refused to shut down here in N’Djamena, in the North and it the South. That has irritated the government who ordered the Security forces to force the close down… 

“It is feared that Chad might know a worse scenario because of its poor governance and corruption. All our neighboring countries have confirmed cases: Cameroun 223; Nigeria 139; Niger 34; Libya 10; CAR 3. Although borders are closed, however people sneak in and enter. Besides, the Chadian culture isn’t prepared for a total containment if that would be the case: people eat in group, mourn the dead as group…

“The Consequences of this COVID are great:

  • Many Church leaders don’t know how to pastor their flock in a period like this. Very, and very  few Churches will pretend to have online services and some have social media groups services. In the rural areas it is more complicated. People are told to worship at home but they are now prepared for that.
  • Economically many people have to stay at home whereas these earn their living each day by working. Among these are women either married to weak or poor husbands, or widows.
  • Some Muslims forced by the security and defense forces to shut down the Mosques accused the government of allowing non-Muslims officials to ban Islam.
  • The Chad health system is ill prepared to handle massive confirmed cases. The infrastructure isn’t in place.
  • Chadian homes are open and Chadian live not inside a house but outside in their compound which is difficult to control the spread of the virus.
  • Very soon there would be the raining season and it will be more complicated.
  • There are now many actions of thieves which may increase with time.
  • People hide to drink and smoke while closing doors of bars
  • The transport in buses in halted in the capital but not outside the watch of the security.

“As Chad faces the COVID, Boko Haram attacked and killed up a 100 soldiers. https://www.facebook.com/981351988624305/posts/2894038127355672/?sfnsn=mo.

That irritated the government which has launched a counter offensive.  The offensive in partnership with the neighboring countries aims at eradicating Boko Haram from the Lake Chad. 

“There is fear the terrorist exploit the confinement to its advantages.

“This season is very hot and very difficult for sick persons.

“THE CHURCH REACTION

A meeting between leaders of the Evangelical Fellowship, the Pentecostal Fellowship and Baptist Mid Missions agreed to obey the order of the Government and advised churches to operate now in homes and small groups. A task force was set up to monitor the evolution, inform churches and help organize the Church as to face the COVID 19. …

“We set up a whatsapp group through which church leaders are informed and resources are shared. I coordinate the group.

“Toward that end we are helping to sensitize the Churches about the COVID, offering training on small groups and the digital ministry, distributing audio bibles to some leaders, printing and distributing Bible Study handouts.

“The week of 29th March to 04 April is a united week of prayer and fasting against the COVID 19.

“ADVANTAGES:

  1. The Church is forced to unite and cooperate
  2. The evaluation of these first two weeks shows that meeting in home and small groups has not affected the demographics of the Church on the contrary.
  3. The bars, video clubs and others being closed, families are more together and Children are not under the bad influences of these media.
  4. People are more open to God.

“CHALLENGES:

  1. The need to coordinate the communication between churches across the whole country.
  2. The lack of resources to produce awareness materials for local churches
  3. The lack of accompanying health materials like soap, javel (bleach)… for poor Christian families
  4. Adequate food for poor Christian families
  5. Production of theological reflections on COVID 19: The Sovereignty of God and COVID- 19; fear of fake vaccine and genocide… Trusting God…