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  • Gustavo Driau

During the pandemic times, the poorest struggle the most to keep their families safe

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

The Lutheran Church of Peru (IL-P) moved quickly to adapt their programs to provide food and hygiene kits to the families and communities we accompany.

With the support of the ELCA Global Mission unit, and a Lutheran Disaster Response grant, the Latin America and the Caribbean Desk is accompanying the Lutheran Church of Peru (IL-P) in an emergency response action in populations in extreme need consequence of corona-virus.

The church in Peru is distributing food and hygiene kits but also face masks and sharing information specifically about the pandemic, and about water, sanitation, and hygiene in COVID-19 times

Like all countries, Peru is fighting the former social and economic needs in addition to the new public health issues in this time of the pandemic.

The Peruvian government decided more than 80 days of confinement and quarantine to try to contain the corona-virus, so people cannot work. The procedures to alleviate the corona-virus have their impact. The rules are limiting human mobility, disrupting work systems, and food supply chains.

This virus is damaging, lives, health, and livelihoods. Most people in Peru are daily wage laborers; confinement and quarantine have put poor and vulnerable people out of work; they face a lack of food.

IL-P has rapidly adapted its programs to distribute survival supplies, but also share crucial information, and providing pastoral accompaniment to build resilience. During this time, several members of several congregations and the communities died, both COVID and non-COVID related deaths. Pastors could not assist at their burials, and the community not have a chance to grieve their departure.

Pastors are using the telephone and visual communication. They listen to church members and neighbors' emotions, encourage them to pray, and offer a word of support. Visiting with the distribution of food and hygiene kit, or visiting in a virtual manner, as been a very effective ministry to deeply connect with the neighborhood during this time.

These photos exemplify IL-P emergency response activities en Piura, Peru, in the last week of May. Marisol Velazco is the leader of the "Women Health Project" in Piura, Cesar Castillo is the acting pastor in the Lutheran mission Christ the King" .

Volunteers Leticia Gomez, Dilcia Razuri, Edna Linares serving their community in Piura

We are in the last week of the Easter season. We know from death came life. From the brokenness, the sadness, even despair, life abounded in the Risen Lord. Poverty and scarcity hit hard in poor neighborhoods in Peru, pastors are addressing we may at times feel helpless, but never hopeless.

We pray for doctors, nurses, cleaning crews, and church leaders, and many others on the front lines of this crisis. We also pray over the sick and their families during this trying time. We pray over, pastors, diakonal promoters, food workers, doctors, and nurses, in Peru and around the world.

God of compassion, be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation. In their loneliness, be their consolation; in their anxiety, be their hope; in their darkness, be their light; through him who suffered alone on the cross, but reigns with you in glory, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

(Episcopal Church prayer)

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