It was three o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon when Laura Fontaine, Director of World Relief Quad Cities, got the call. A woman in the Congolese community had contracted COVID-19. Shutdowns had already begun across much of the U.S., and World Relief followed suit, closing our offices and suspending all in-person programming.
Halfway across the globe, nearly 8,000 miles away, Moses Ndahiro and his team faced a similar situation in Rwanda when, in mid-March, the country went into total lockdown. As the team began working remotely, they turned to rapid communication tools through mobile platforms like WhatsApp to begin communicating with partners and disseminating COVID-19 prevention messages to churches and communities.
The sudden change and continued uncertainty were destabilizing, and it didn’t take long for the dramatic impact that COVID-19 could have on the world’s most vulnerable to become apparent.
And yet, during what was a very dark time, when we took a step back, we saw creativity, strength and persistence shine through. Fierce courage and bold love grew amidst our upturned world. Beneath the chaos, resilience bloomed.