Dear Bethesda supporters,

We know that many of you care for Bethesda and regularly pray for us and in light of the COVID19/Coronavirus, we wanted to give you an update on how this is affecting our families and staff.

On the 15th of March, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the virus to be a national disaster and announced several measures that the South African government is taking to help curb its spread locally. Among others, he announced the closure of all schools from the 18th of March until after Easter. Needless to say this affects our school directly and has a knock-on effect to our families and the children in our care.

The President also announced a travel ban for what the Department of Health deems to be “high risk” countries. These include China, Australia, most of Europe and the USA. This essentially means that our short term missions team season has been curtailed somewhat until this crisis subsides. Thankfully this should not affect our long term staff on site.

All gatherings of more than 100 people are also prohibited which can negatively affect many churches in our area, especially over Easter time. Traditionally, many churches hold very large Easter conferences which will now have to be reconsidered in light of these announcements.

Right now in SA, we have 150 confirmed cases of the virus, without any fatalities to date. At Bethesda we have been taking precautionary measures and are currently working towards keeping our children and staff as healthy as possible, and doing our best to promote good hygiene and social distancing in order to keep help curb the spread of the virus. We also have a contingency plan in place in case of infection or if self-quarantine is required.

Please keep us in your prayers as you pray for those affected by this disease. Several of our children do struggle with compromised immune systems and as a result may be very negatively affected if they contract COVID 19.

Over and above all, we know that our God is sovereign and that this virus is not outside of His control. I have recently been reminded of a passage of Scripture which we will continue to cling to at this time.

The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him. The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.  –Nahum 1:5-7

It is this God who controls our destiny both now and in the future days ahead. To Him be all glory.