COVID-19 has ravaged many prisons in the United States. Most facilities are closed to visitors and many are on lockdown. Now is the time to lift up our incarcerated brothers and sisters in prayer.
But don’t limit your prayers to the United States. Prisons all over the world are being harshly impacted by the crisis.
Here are a few updates from Crossroads leaders across the world:
Ecuador has suffered a significant amount of coronavirus deaths, particularly in the high poverty areas. There are bodies that cannot be buried. Funeral homes and churches are overwhelmed, so much so that families are leaving bodies on the street. Incarcerated Ecuadorians are building coffins for the deceased.
Hugo Salomon, a Crossroads mentor in Ecuador and medical doctor, was treating patients in a hospital when he contracted COVID-19. After several days of fighting the infection, he passed away. Please pray for the Crossroads team in Ecuador as they grieve this loss.
New Zealand is on level-4 alert due to the spread of COVID-19. Non-essential services are closed, including the Crossroads office.
South Africa is on lockdown until April 30. All prison facilities are closed so Crossroads has no contact with its students. “Some of our students phone the mission workers, and they encourage them with Bible scriptures,” said Christien Agema, administrator for Crossroads South Africa.
Sierra Leone has had very few confirmed cases of COVID-19. But the nation is still on edge, according to Lahai Kargbo, the director of Crossroads Sierra Leone.
“There is lot of fear among many here as we are trying to get through all this,” Kargbo said. “Please also pray for our neighbors, Liberia and Guinea, as most of them are in fear and trying to cross over to Sierra Leone for safety. There are chaotic scenes at the border area with dozens of vehicles and hundreds of passengers stranded on either side.”
The Kenyan president has imposed a travel ban in four main coronavirus-infected areas. “The lockdown has affected us at Crossroads Kenya as we closed our offices and are working at home whenever possible,” said Jefferson Gathu, director of Crossroads Kenya. “The churches also have closed and we hold our services at home with my family.”
Crossroads in Canada is able to still get lessons to students through the mail, although there have been some delays in students getting lessons due to decreased prison staffing.