03 August 2020

Lockdown in Bangladesh

News from the Church of Bangladesh

The Church of Bangladesh has written with thanks for the prayers and support it has received and to share its work in responding to the needs of people during COVID-19.

The Church responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic which has hit Bangladesh very hard as many families have lost work and those in jobs are struggling to get paid. Similarly to the Methodist Church in Britain the Church closed its buildings but are continuing services through online streaming and through social media.

The Church has responded by giving out cash assistance to thousands of families that are struggling to buy the food and daily necessities they require. Supporting families through cash was decided by the Church’s Synod Office as the most cost effective way of providing support to families. Every Diocese continues to support those vulnerable and impacted by COVID-19 and many have begun connecting with their congregations through an increased use of technology

The Barishal Diocese has instigated a chain-prayer and services have been uploaded to YouTube for the congregation to view. Examining their experiences of lockdown during COVID-19 the Bishop of Barishal Diocese shares how COVID-19 has driven an increase in knowledge and resource sharing.

“During the lockdown, many of my colleagues felt that we were all at the same stage. We were all starting from scratch, navigating the new ways of working. This led to abundant sharing of knowledge and resources to help one another out. The Future is indeed unpredictable. We must plan and act on this plan so that in the future we can bounce back. We cannot be sure that things will happen as we imagine. God’s thoughts are not mine. God’s ways are not my ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9).”

Shalom, the development organisation of the Church in Bangladesh is supporting vulnerable people following the Cyclone, in particular those with leprosy during COVID-19 and has continued its education programmes; with students staying at home it has provided training to teachers on how to take classes online and stay connected with students during the pandemic.

The Methodist Church in Britain is thanked for its contributions to the Church of Bangladesh which have supported its Mission during COVID-19. The Church of Bangladesh asks for continued prayer at this time for safety and its mission. Specifically, prayers for the Bollobhpur Hospital who continues to train student nurses during the pandemic and the Christian Mission Hospital and Nursing Institute which with support from the Church of Bangladesh is currently training 141 student nurses from remote areas of Bangladesh.

For more information on the mission and development of the Church in Bangladesh including details of many of their projects during COVID-19 please read the Newsletter here.

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