Today is the first week that we have reduced our feeding program to half of what we have been doing through April and May. We are still giving the same amount of food for each family (22 pounds corn flour, 11 pounds of dry beans, and one 12 inch long bar of soap) to last for one week.
We are thankful that the country is slowly having the restrictions lifted, but it looks like through June 1st lockdown remains in place for non-essential workers.
In addition to this, about fifty people/families have approached us who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis, and some of those are due to businesses having closed with no immediate expectation that they will be able to re-open.
Our current plans are to provide food assistance next week similar to this week (which is for about half as many families as the first eight weeks of the crisis), and then after the week ending June 8, see how many families still need assistance due to job losses.
We definitely do not want to create dependency, and this is something we think about in all of the relief work we do. We are always seeking to help people be self-sufficient, through providing skills and opportunities for work and dignity. At the same time, we do not want to abandon people that we can help who are truly facing destitution, and do not have anywhere to turn for help.
We thank the Lord for this privilege of helping those in need, and we are grateful for the many who have helped us to respond, and continue to respond as this crisis begins to lessen, and as more people can get back to work. We are grateful for the prayers and help of everyone who has joined us in this service to Christ and those He loves. As Jesus said, "Whatever you did to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me."
As we continue to feed those struggling to survive under the ongoing lockdown and latent effects it has created, we are rejoicing in a large gift of stock we have received that will help us to feed 3,000 people in Rwanda for two weeks. The gift is also allowing us to provide clean water through the addition of a 5,000 gallon holding tank for a well that is used to provide clean drinking water to the community. We are grateful for the gifts we have received, of all sizes, that have allowed us to provide food for approximately 3,000 people per week since the week of March 21 when the lockdown went into effect.
By Ralph Kurtenbach, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (605) 728-3079 (WhatsApp), May 14, 2020, Nyanza, Rwanda