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Where does our help come from?

BY: Jude Hama

Covid-19 effects are causing different emotions and responses from people. Some of our people are perplexed. Others are very anxious and filled with fear.

Of course, these are unusual times.The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted and interrupted lives and services world-wide. On July 8, 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recorded 11,981,313 (nearly 12 million) cases globally with 547,324 deaths.

The Ghana Health Service reported this week that the country is now recording an average of 400 new cases of the disease a day.

Data gathered indicates that as at June 30, 2020 over 779 health workers had contracted the disease in the line of duty with a total of nine deaths.

With 21,077 Covid-19 cases in Ghana as at July 8, 2020; and 129 deaths; and the death of some Ghanaians living abroad, there is grieving and mourning for the dead and significant loss to families, loved ones, and institutions.

We do not know and we cannot guess who the next victim is. Even some medical doctors, the frontline workers, have suffered as victims. The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has reported last Saturday July 4 that 150 of its members had tested positive for the coronavirus, with four resulting in death.

The disease seems not to respect profession, age, status or wealth! And there are those we least suspect will be its victims. Hence, the spoken and unspoken anguish and cry from within many hearts is, “where does our help come from?”

Yet others who are religious but fearful and trembling groan within, “where is our God in whom we trust?” We must hear from Him! Well, God still speaks: “The crisis and temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful.

“He will not allow the crisis or temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are in crisis or tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT)

Israel and its people of faith were in perplexity, anguish and pain: “I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the Lord’s anger.

“He has led me into darkness, shutting out all light. He has besieged and surrounded me with anguish and distress.”(Lamentations 3:1 & 2, 5, NLT).

But it was in their distress and perplexity that the following immortal words were uttered: “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

“I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:21-24; 26, NLT)

People of faith may wait quietly for God’s intervention, even if they don’t fully understand what is going on around them. But do we think Ghana’s pain from COVID-19 will get bigger?

The true answer is, “we don’t know”. However, we see in Africa increasing trend of COVID-19 cases and deaths. South Africa has been most hit with 216,000 cases and 3,502 deaths as at July 6, 2020.

Uganda hasn’t recorded any deaths from COVID-19. Is this only by the grace of God? A Medical Professor at the Kampala Infections Disease Institute said they had learnt lessons from Ebola outbreak that they are using to fight COVID-19.

The national leaders put plans in place for lockdown even before the first case. When the first case was announced, lockdown plans was implemented, with foot-soldiers to enforce lockdown directives.
Rwanda has been similarly firm in implementing lockdown and COVID-19 sanitation and safety protocols.

Tanzania and Burundi have been more laxed in their containment measures and have had more cases and deaths than Uganda. Come to think of it, “we reap what we sow”.

Ghana’s leaders and medical experts probably started just a little bit late in implementing a fight against COVID-19. But the initial Ghana plan implementations were solid and excellent. But we soon pandered to giving space to NPP and NDC political activities and mass registration for election.

People must first be alive before they get involved in political activities including voting. Many sobre heads and minds quipped, “Shouldn’t we resume the initial Ghana robust tackle of COVID-19 so that the curve will get flat?”

The ominous dark clouds of mass registration exercise and partisan political parties’ activities threaten to break with bad showers of increase in COVID-19 cases!!

We have national leadership, civil and church leadership and personal responsibility in individual and collective protection from COVID-19 pandemic. This is a global issue that needs sustained home-grown solutions.

Indeed, we somehow reap what we sow. But graciously, we read: “He does not deal with us according to our sins nor repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:10, ESV).

Finally, we come back to the people of faith, seeking to be faithful in making every effort to follow the COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

We hear them hum a hymn: “where is our God in whom we trust.... Renew our faith ….” Our help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.

(The writer is a Consultant in Spirituality and Authentic Discipleship, an International Conference Speaker and former CEO of Scripture Union, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)