…making the best use of the time… Ephesians 5:16
For the Myanmar village of Varpui, the Covid-19 pandemic is not something remote. The first Myanmar person reported having the Covid-19 was from this village, and that person infected people in Varapui and the surrounding communities. Currently, the town is under quarantine.
During this pandemic, we have learned that wearing a mask is one of the best ways to personally prevent the spread of Covid-19 (and other illnesses). However, in many Myanmar villages there is limited awareness of how to avoid the virus. There are no pharmacies or doctors, and villagers must go to nearby larger towns to buy masks. Because of the high demand for masks, prices are eight times higher than usual, which discourage villagers from purchasing and using them. While many people are concerned about their health, mask use remains rare.
After learning of the urgent need for masks in the community villages of Myanmar, Rev. Puia of the Bresee Church of the Nazarene, along with his wife, made fabric masks locally and freely gave them to his church members and their community in Varpui village. Because the need is greater than he alone could meet, Rev. Puia, inspired by Ephesians 5:16, encouraged the Church community to make the most of every opportunity for ministry. As a result, some girls who had previously learned sewing skills through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM), along with others, joined in this ministry. Additional support came from the community and “Hi Kids” ministry. With the support of those partners, the church was able to give over 2,000 masks to children and adults to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Mrs. Puia also trained other local churches so that they can make masks for their neighbors as well.
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These simple acts of compassion and service encourage others and demonstrate how to love our neighbors during a crisis. The Bresee Church of the Nazarene is taking the lead in this compassionate ministry. Pray for them as they seize every opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ.
Contributed by Jerome Rothuama, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Field Coordinator for the Southeast Asia Field