Churches play a big role in ensuring spiritual nourishment of Kenyans while in the country of sojourn. With the current situation where activities and congregations of people are being canceled or suspended due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it is paramount that Kenyan-American church leaders and community leaders re-evaluate the same within the Kenyan-American community.
Before we start proclaiming Covid ishindwe, we need to know that we do not live in a vacuum and that most local governments will soon mandate or order non-congregation of people in public places. Before this happens and out of abundance of caution, churches should implement immediate measures to combat spread of the virus.
Some of these measures include:
- There should be professional cleaners sanitizing every area mostly used by the public
- Nurses on hand with handheld thermometers to take temperature of Congregants (forehead version) and sending home anyone with any symptoms
- Suspension of holy communion
- Suspension of refreshments such as mandazi
- The popular "Geithia mundu" song should be shelved for now or be played without accompanying greetings and handshakes
These measures might sound extreme but with an elderly population in our midst it is important to take every step necessary.
Our churches need start thinking how to do outreach through video, or mitamboni. Soon it might be impossible to meet, and soul nourishment could be done electronically. Members can be availed to give offerings and tithing through WhatsApp.
Kenyans are procrastinators and these measures might not be in our foreseen future but with current developments will soon be a reality. Those best prepared are those with prior contingency plans.
Our health should be paramount while thinking about our destiny. Our elderly parents’ health need to be protected since they are prone to succumb to the Covid 19 virus more than any other age group.
By John Njroroge, a Kenyan living in the US.