The spread of COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic, but at times it can feel like the virus is lurking outside our door. I live in New York City, and we are a hotspot for the country at this moment. Every day there are reports of cases growing at astronomical rates, and deaths that keep piling up. The fact is that this IS a worldwide pandemic, and there are certain groups who are exceptionally vulnerable.
One of those groups is the indigenous people group that oneMESSAGE.tv is trying to reach through our Bible storying video project. A recent article in The Guardian is titled “The Coronavirus could wipe us out.’ Indigenous South Americans Blockade Villages”.
Indigenous groups have historically been threatened by diseases from outside their communities like smallpox, measles and influenza. If a disease like COVID-19 sweeps through an indigenous village, their access to medical care is very limited. So as a means of self-defense, many indigenous groups have totally blockaded their villages from outside visitors. Others are retreating deep into their reservations as far away from the outside world as they can get.
This necessary step presents a number of great challenges for the indigenous and for oneMESSAGE.tv’s mission partners who are called to reach them. For many of the indigenous, this quick decision has left them unprepared with food and other supplies. For our partners, it isolates them from having a ministry of presence and building face-to-face relationships.
1. PRAY FOR THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
So we are asking our oneMESSAGE.tv community to pray for the indigenous people. As devastating as the worst-case scenarios are for the U.S., the potential death toll in their tribes could represent a far greater percentage of their community. In the country of Columbia alone, there are 1.5 million indigenous people who are made up of 87 different people groups.
2. PRAY FOR OUR MISSION PARTNERS
We are also asking you to pray for our mission partners as they explore ways to continue their work among our people group while they are physically apart from them. Some fantastic things have happened in the last 12 months, and we are just praying that God continues to move. Even before this pandemic, some of the villages were already suspicious of outsiders. We are asking God to give our partners opportunities to show their love so when this ends, doors will open back up.
WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU!
Please know that we continue to think of those who make up our oneMESSAGE.tv community, and we are praying for you as well. Be safe. Stay home, and wash your hands.