感謝主，南非感染新冠疫情的人數兩個月前已開始下降，政府也開始放寬防疫監測的工作。雖然每天仍有人因疫症喪命，但是人們由於長期抗疫而產生疲乏和麻木的心態，因而對病毒的警覺性也降低不少。南非最近兩個星期染疫的人數又再增加，而症狀與Omicron BA. 5稍有不同，南非的病毒專家提醒民眾，如果這次的感染人數持續昇高，南非有可能會有第六波的疫情。
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Dear Prayer Partners,
Praise the Lord! COVID infection rates started to subside since July, and the government has been lessening its restrictions steadily. Even though related fatalities are still being recorded every day, people are getting tired of and being numb to the pandemic, resulted in loose adherence to protective measures. We have seen the number of COVID cases increased over the last two weeks, and the symptoms are slightly different from Omicron BA. 5. Experts in South Africa warn that they may be facing the sixth wave soon.
The good news is that South Africa’s Biovac will start production of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines in October, with an estimated output of 100 million doses per year. This will greatly relieve African countries from relying on supplies from Western countries. However, South Africa has experienced an increase of more than 150,000 orphans over the past two years, resulted with problems in caretaking, schooling, early marriages, crimes, etc. These are unavoidable sequelae of the pandemic. The government needs to devote more resources to resolve these issues, but it would be a difficult task under its already worsening economy.
Because of the weakening economy and high inflation, crime rates are on the rise. Kidnapping is happening in an alarming rate in a lot of the crime-infected cities. Some kidnappers would walk into a store in broad daylight, bind and take the owner away. Their targets are all foreigners from China, Somalia and Bengal (due to xenophobia). Stores in these cities even received notices to pay monthly “protection fees”; otherwise, they would be the next target. The police also issued warnings to the stores but did not offer any plan of action. The Chinese in these cities are living in fears, and many of them plan to sell off their inventory and leave as soon as possible. Please pray for improved law and order in South Africa, especially the police’s ability to tackle kidnapping crimes.
The electricity supply crisis is still not under control yet. Nobody can give a clear explanation of the problem or any definite date of restoration. People need to face outages from two to six hours each day; they have no other choices but to work around it. This in fact put an extra burden on its fragile industrial and business revival. At the same time, our weekday Bible study attendance has also been impacted. May the Lord help South Africa come up with effective ways in bringing back stable electricity supply to support the recuperation of its economy.
We continue to serve our brothers and sisters in South Africa through online Bible study meetings and worship services. Currently, our Sunday sermon series is on the book of Job, and our Bible study is on Matthew. Praise the Lord, we enjoy good fellowship and sharing every time we meet.
Please pray for the following:
- May the Lord show His mercy and carry South Africa through the pandemic.
- We thank the Lord for the successful progress in the COVID vaccine production in South Africa.
- May the Lord grant wisdom to the government to devise effective solutions to the orphanage issue.
- May the Lord empower the government in fighting crimes and restore security in the country.
- May the Lord enable South Africa to solve its electricity crisis and revive its economy.
In His service,
Ko-Ta & Christina