COVID-19 PANDEMIC: HCF NIGERIA RESPONSE

For about six months, COVID-19 infection has been ravaging lives and economy
in leaps and bounds in all parts of the world. The whole world stands in great fear.
Nigeria is not left out. Since the index case of COVID-19 victim in Nigeria was
diagnosed on 27th February 2020, the number of confirmed cases has kept
increasing. However, the extent of affectation is far below the predictions of the
world experts. This is just because of the mercies of GOD. The same can be said
of most parts of Africa.
The guidelines needed to limit the spread of the infection have adversely affected
most projects and missions including HCF activities. Lockdown and physical
distancing directives discourage physical fellowships and close contacts with our
patients and even our colleagues. GOD has helped us to look for some ways of
ensuring that GOD’s mandate to us in the health field is not quenched completely.
These are some of the steps we are taking:
I. Our National Action Team (NAT) intermittently releases exhortations to
our members to encourage and to guide. In particular, we remind our
members to maintain focus on GOD and HCFI vision and HCF Nigeria
goals for 2020. These messages are sent via our several WhatsApp
platforms.
II. Whereas the lockdown directive promotes individualism, our NAT has
made efforts to encourage FELLOWSHIP – in our living and service –
recognizing the scriptural admonitions: “…iron sharpens iron…” (Prov.
27:17); “…two are better than one…” (Eccl. 4:9); “…one will chase thousand
and two shall put ten thousand to fight…” (Deut. 32:30); “Let us not give up
the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage
one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the LORD is coming
nearer” (Hebrews 10:25).
III. Since physical meetings are not advisable or feasible in most parts of the
country, we employ virtual (online) meetings and programmes to achieve
fellowship as per prayers, evangelism and discipleship. We have made much
success in the area of prayers. NAT has regular online corporate meetings.
So do a good number of our HCF groups. Efforts are being made to improve
the effectiveness in evangelism and discipleship. However, in parts of our
country where restricted physical meetings are allowed, some of our groups
meet cautiously when necessary, observing our national safety guidelines for
such meetings.
IV. Of particular note is that HCF National Prayer Team releases serial prayer
guide of prayer topics relevant to this pandemic period. This is used by the
NAT and entire HCFN for regular prayers.
V. Since the pandemic guidelines discourage close one-to-one witnessing, some
of our groups delegate one or two members to the open wards to share
information about COVID and the gospel with the patients, as well as pray
with them. Of course, they do this with their personal protective devices and
maintain adequate physical distancing.
VI. To address discipleship, edifying messages and teachings are shared online
by our members using our online platforms.
VII. NAT forwards to her members HCFI Daily Dose Series and HCFI Daily
Prayer Guide for encouragement and prayers respectively.
VIII. We encourage our fellowship groups to pay special attention to the material
welfare of our members that have been impoverished by this pandemic. Gal.
6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” A good
number of brethren have benefitted from these palliative measures.

Challenges
We have not been able to hold our Area Prayer Conferences that usually take place
within the first trimester of the year. We plan to hold our next NAT meeting online
on 16th July 2020. Important issues will be discussed. One of such is concerning
our Annual National Conference scheduled to hold in September 2020. We covet
your prayers.

Conclusion
Because we have been praying to GOD who answers prayers, we believe that the
pandemic will soon end.
Rom. 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good, to those who love
GOD, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Much good has come out of this pandemic. Many nations are overwhelmed and
have turned to GOD for help. Many Christians have become more serious with
their faith and are more heaven conscious. It is our prayer that this pandemic will
result to an unprecedented global revival and evangelization.
There are new innovations of how to achieve so much virtually in HCF. It is our
prayer that after this COVID era, these online innovations will complement our
physical programmes and result to more productivity and improved fruitfulness.