In Yemen, the health system has “in effect” collapsed. The current death rate is 80 people per day in the city, up from a pre-outbreak average of 10. All across Yemen, COVID-19 is deepening the economic crisis as prices of food, masks, soap, and other basic supplies rise, in an economy already devastated by five years of war.
Anxiety and frustration dominates neighbourhoods and social networks. Many people are fearful about the tragic way a person with this virus can die, and the suffering of the victim and his family. There are also stories of the terrible conditions of places of quarantine as well as hospitals turning dying Yemenis away..
However, amidst all this there are reports of hope.
The secret Christians are a blessing, as they talk about how to deal with this pandemic in a spirit of hope, encouragement and prayer. Believers are following prevention measures and safe health practices. They are trying to model personal protective measures like social distancing to those around them.
Believers in the hardest hit areas of Yemen shared they are overcoming their sadness and fears by turning them into a driving force to pray and to encourage one another to follow reliable advice about treatment and prevention.
“We pray for each other that the Lord Jesus will deliver us from this pandemic,” a believing woman said. “It has brought us closer to Him and brought us closer to each other as His children in Yemen. We’re trying to spend more time with our children, teaching them and praying together and praying for the salvation of our people.”
Believers around the country have affirmed their confidence in God as they do their best to follow the measures recommended for slowing the spread of the virus.
“Even in light of the difficult conditions we’re facing, we feel that the Lord Jesus is with us,” a believing sister told me. “We feel His mercy and closeness to us. I’ve found the lockdown period to be a valuable opportunity to pray, draw closer to God, and feel the affection of His hand outstretched to His children.”
Although believers in Yemen face the same desperate conditions and lack of resources as the society around them, they do have one resource—a relationship with the Author of Life—that sets them apart.
- Let us stand in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Yemen in these days—even as they stand with us.