Eswatini’s coronavirus count may seem low compared to the cases in countries like the United States, China or Brazil, but for a country with only one million people, 70 percent of whom live in rural areas, the more than 15,000 people infected with COVID represent a frightening potential for spread that the country’s health system cannot bear.
For those living outside of the few urban regions, finding a hospital or medical center could take significant time and effort.
CDC notes, “Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put some rural residents at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or having severe illness…. Rural areas can face different health challenges depending on where they are located.”
Those in Eswatini with few other options are laying their situation at Christ’s feet, though the journey hasn’t always been easy. One young lady who is living with our partners, the Eswatini Women’s Centre, wrote, “I grew up an angry child and blaming my parents for so many things that happened in my life. Also being angry at God for failing to show up in my life in the way that I thought He should.”
The hardships of her life and the hope of her new life in Christ has allowed her to look around her with an eye toward the future.
“I reached a point of breakthrough during the lockdown,” Dora said, “that made me realized how much God loves me and how blessed I am. I have seen Father God being a provider and sustainer. He has been using many people to bless the Eswatini Women’s Centre with delicious and healthy meals. Some have donated extra food packs and home essentials, while others have worked hard at sewing masks for us.
“I have also seen God being a shield of protection during this time of pandemic. He has kept me safe from COVID and not just me but everyone around me too. That’s evidence of God’s grace over our lives.”
Reflecting on the past year, Dora explained one of the most important things she’s felt like she’s learned following Christ rather than trying to forge her own path.
“I believe God has been saying to me, during this time of uncertainty and fear, that I must not be anxious or worried about my future because he has always been my provider, sustainer and protector. He is forever the same. A scripture that keeps me going during this time is Philippians 4:6 which says ‘Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your request to God.’”
Rachel Chimits is a writer for World Challenge, a global ministry that encourages people to live a better life and make a better world through Jesus Christ.