ICM/Jubilee Community Center Update
Updated: Mar 31, 2020
We are currently a little over a week into extreme lifestyle changes due to the novel virus that has shaken both our nation and the world. Many days we wake up questioning whether this new reality is actually just a nightmare that we will wake up from one morning. The situation changed quickly here, just as in most places around the globe. As the news of new cases began to spread around the island, we quickly began making decisions and preparations to best protect our community. We have moved many church activities to online platforms and stopped all in-person programs at the community center.
A week has now passed, and we are both shocked at our current reality and clinging tight to our only Hope. The Dominican Republic, like many places, has closed all businesses with the exception of hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, etc. People have been told to stay at home, unless it is absolutely necessary to go out, and there is a country wide curfew from 5pm-6am. If you are out after 5pm, you are taken to jail and given a fine. The cases of COVID-19 are rising quickly and we worry how our medical system will be able to handle it. Many people work in the informal sector (making enough money each day for their daily expenses) and are now out of work. We worry that soon there will be a large part of the population literally starving as they try and figure out how to get enough money to put food on the table. We have already heard stories from those around us who are struggling financially and scared about what the future holds. The streets are quiet and most are trying to stay put in their homes, but there are still many others who seem to be living life as normal, unable to stay home because they must work in order to feed their families.
As the days have turned into a week, we are begging God for wisdom as we move forward. We are trying to determine the best way to serve the needs of our neighbors in Pontezuela, while protecting both them and the church members going into the community. What we dreaded was that if COVID-19 were to arrive to Pontezuela that it would spread like wildfire because of the conditions and the very way of life—this weekend we received news of the first confirmed case in Pontezuela.
As we have carefully and safely entered Pontezuela, we have seen what we have feared—people without work, many people out in the streets, no running water currently in the community. On Friday, four women from the church prepared food bags and went to deliver them to the families in the community with the most need. People are scared for what is to come. We need a miracle. The world needs a miracle.
As you do your best to safely walk this road and protect your loved ones and those around you, please be in prayer for us as well. Pray for Pontezuela—that there may be sufficient food, that running water comes back soon, that the virus does not spread in the community, and that people turn their hearts to Jesus. Pray for our church community—that people have enough to take care of their families, that God gives us wisdom in how we lead others and take care of our neighbors, and that we remain healthy.
Please consider giving through the following link: https://www.comunidadmulticultural.com/donate We anticipate the need for food to greatly increase within the next week as people run out of any money they had. We know this is a long road that we have ahead of us and we invite you to share the resources you have been given with those in need. What an opportunity we have to live out the words of Paul in Acts 2… “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”
We pray that each of you are safe and well. Please reach out and update us on you and how your community is doing. We would love to pray for you, connect with you, and be mutually encouraged. Send us a message through our website: www.comunidadmulticultural.com (at the bottom of the home page)
Keep looking to Jesus! He is our only Hope. May HIS Kingdom come and may HIS will be done…
On earth as it is in Heaven.
With much love,
The ICM/Jubilee Community Center family