Latin American churches offer their premises for coronavirus patients
A megachurch in Colombia offers its temples for medical and spiritual help. Argentinian evangelical leaders pray for “renewed strength and encouragement”.
Evangélico Digital · BUENOS AIRES | CARTAGENA DE INDIAS · 27 MARCH 2020 · 17:05 CET
The Christian Alliance of Evangelical Churches of Argentina (ACIERA) sent a letter on Tuesday to the country's President Alberto Fernández, saying that its “places of worship, multiple facilities, resources and volunteers are at the service of the country for anything it needs”.
The evangelical leaders stressed in the letter that they “pray that the coronavirus pandemic and its devastating effects will stop”.
“We pray for health workers, the security forces, and all those who these days serve others through their work. We ask God to protect them from the disease and give them renewed strength and encouragement”, they added.
They also pointed out that “we echo his timely words, when he said 'God has given us time', mentioning God as the only one who can bring us hope. That is why we ask Almighty God to give him wisdom, to support him with supernatural strength and to give him rest in the midst of the storm”.
RIOS DE VIDA CHURCH IN COLOMBIA OFFERS ITS FACILITIES
In Colombia, the pastor of the Ríos de Vida Church, Miguel Arrázola, made the two churches of his congregation available to the city of Cartagena and the entire Bolívar region.
In a letter sent to Vicente Blel, Governor of Bolívar and the Mayor of Cartagena, William Dau, the pastor offered his facilities for the care of those who are infected with coronavirus, or for any need the citizens and authorities might have.
“The objective is to turn it into a food, medicine and hospital material warehouse. There are 4,000 square meters of construction, plus six hectares, for the different possibilities that may come, including placing hospital beds there”, Arrázola told Latin American news website, Evangélico Digital.
MEDICAL AND SPIRITUAL ASSISTANCE
In addition to offering its temples, the Ríos de Vida church distributed more than 900 packages of food this week, in three hospitals and a children's foundation in the city.
“We have provided 4,900 medical, dental and psychological assistances, carrying ambulances, medical units, doing ultrasounds. It is a complete health team. We even offer hairdressing service and entrepreneurship workshops. We have mobilized the church with 14,000 volunteers”, Arrázola said.
Colombian President Iván Duque, through the Ministry of the Interior, issued a decree this week that allows inter-religious groups to provide social, spiritual and emotional help to those who need it. In addition to the police, the pastors are among the few people who who can move across the city.
CORONAVIRUS IN LATIN AMERICA
The coronavirus landed in Latin America on February 26, when Brazil confirmed a case in Sao Paulo. On March 7, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to announce a death related to the virus after a 64-year-old man died in Buenos Aires.
Having recorded 2,988 cases by March 27, Brazil led the region with roughly twice as many cases as Ecuador (1403) and Chile (1,306), followed by Panama (674), Argentina (589), Mexico (585) and Peru (580).
Most countries adopted several common measures between March 11 and 22, including banning flights from key countries, prohibiting large public gatherings, and suspending school. Several governments imposed shelter-in-place measures on some or all areas, as well as closing restaurants and bars in key cities.
Evangelicals throughout Latin America are praying for their countries in the midst of the global pandemia of the coronavirus. You can read about it here.