It used to be US Embassy emails to Americans in Ethiopia were mundane with notices about meetings, visa changes, and other bureaucratic items.
A bleak message
For the past few years, that hasn’t been the case, with regional conflict, outbreak of war, and then Covid-19. But this week’s message gave one of the bleakest messages. “Community transmission of the coronavirus in Ethiopia is widespread and accelerating rapidly. Public and private hospitals in Addis Ababa report their COVID bed space is full. Life-saving oxygen and medical supplies are difficult to secure. Through March 20, 2012, there have been 185,641 reported cases and 2,647 deaths resulting from COVID-19 in Ethiopia. The 14-day trends of new cases and percent positivity are both increasing drastically. An increase in new cases of 66 percent and an increase in the percent positive by 43 percent were observed over this two-week period.”
We are all exhausted by COVID-19. And by news about it, perhaps. But here you have a relatively poor country simply unable to cope. There are likely many other poorer countries in dire straits.
It requires a response
As Christians, or simply as fellow humans, we must have a response. Primarily, we have to care. If there’s a way to help, we should. Above all, we must pray for Ethiopia, and all those suffering because of COVID-19. We are all made in God’s image. We are all God’s creation, open to being his willing children.
So, I call for a moment of silence. I ask for a time of prayer, with Ethiopia in your heart, and all of God’s human creation.