May 20, 2020
By Pastor Peter Mugabi
General Secretary, Baptist Union Of Uganda
To a large number of people it was completely unexpected when the president of Uganda issued a countrywide lockdown March 18. This took place in phases beginning with asking people to stay home to eventually banning public gatherings including church services.
The unprecedented time of temporary closure announced by the president took a great toll on a mass of people.
Hundreds had not stocked enough food for the quarantine, and many traders that make about 75% of their sales on a daily basis were left in suspense of what was to be of their businesses.
Church leaders are dealing with trauma and cases of anxiety among the church congregation as well as their own families. The people, especially those who dwell in rural areas, are in a state of confusion and probable misunderstanding of the pandemic mainly because they receive second-hand information about COVID-19.
This second-hand information has created misconceptions of the disease that has been associated to witchcraft. Many people in the rural areas do not own information devices and therefore mostly listen to what their neighbors share, which results in misunderstandings and confusion among the people.
However, despite all the tragedies, many churches have had prayer days and fasting during this period. Members of the churches have strengthened their relationships with God in their homes.
This time also has tested and challenged us to seek the supreme Lord Jesus Christ, whose power, love and mercy we need more than ever during this time.