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Peru in lockdown: an update, and what the churches are doing.

CMS missionaries Nick & Kysha Davies report the latest on how the Coronavirus has affected life for people in Peru, and how local churches are helping.

Peru is still in lockdown, 85 days at the time of writing.

We are very safe. We’ve got plenty of food in our fridge and freezer to last us a few weeks without the need for shopping. We’re very thankful for God’s provision through the generous giving of people like you.

But while we can stock up on a few weeks of food, one conversation here reminded us of how different it is for most Peruvians: “we can’t afford to buy four days’ worth of food.”

Especially in the poorer districts of Lima and out in the provinces, a lot of people don’t have fridges or freezers, so going to the market most days is unavoidable.

The number of cases here is still rising. Despite an early and strict lockdown, Peru is now one of ten countries most affected by Coronavirus. There are many factors: the poverty and the living situations and health effects and all that come with it; the rampant corruption for decades that has resulted nearly two dozen regional hospitals not being built, while essential supplies have ‘disappeared’ in the last three months.

The church response

We want to give you a small glimpse of the ways that local Peruvian churches are stepping up.

Like most churches in the poorer districts, many Anglican churches have lost people to the Coronavirus, but are unable to properly grieve for them and console each other. Most of the Anglican churches minister in very poor districts and regions. As part of a huge effort by the diocese, churches have been distributing food and supplies to those who are most desperate. It was an overwhelming task a month ago, let alone now.

Thousands of Peruvians from the provinces—unable to work in Lima—have resorted to walking to their home cities (despite attempts to stop them). Churches on the way are seeking to provide food, blankets and supplies, as local authorities have nothing or do nothing.

Meeting spiritual needs

In Peru’s central provinces, where many people speak Quechua first instead of Spanish and there is little internet, many local Christians want to continue to study the Bible. So, the team of Peruvian Bible translators who work with them are teaching one-to-one via telephone, and are considering buying radio airtime.

We could go on, if only out of an effort to convey our admiration. Just as God called Israel to give generously without a grudging heart (see Deuteronomy 15), so our brothers and sisters are serving and caring for those around them.

‘Gracias a Dios’ (that is, thank you God) for how he moves through his people.