COVID-19 continues to rock us all, and as the world slowly starts opening again we are all uncertain of what will happen. LCW/LCP has done its best to respond to the needs of our members while taking into account the health and safety of our employees and volunteers. We cannot stop, because our members are in more need than ever. In this issue, we will address the current status of ministry in LCW and LCP, and our tentative plans moving forward. We will continue to monitor the latest recommendations on how we can keep everyone as safe as possible as we begin a transition into the new normal.
The LCW office in Barnesville, Georgia, USA remains open. However, masks are strictly required if you plan to enter the office. Please knock loudly on the door so that you may be let in. Georgia is seeing a sustained spike in COVID cases, and for the safety of our staff, we thank you for understanding these regulations. If at all possible, please do transactions via phone, email, or on our website. All the LCW board and advisory council meetings are being held virtually until we can be sure travel and gatherings are safe.
LCP and its members have been greatly affected by the pandemic. Since both the financial and food assistance from the government have run out, LCP members without work have been left with nothing. The sponsorship office, in conjunction with the other staff as well as the community task force, have done a massive survey where every house was visited and the status of every household was checked to identify those families with the greatest needs. We want to make sure every family has food in their bellies during these dire circumstances. These families need FOOD PACKAGES. Please consider giving to the COVID Response Fund to address the immediate needs of these families.
As additional response to our out-of-work members, LCP will be giving start up capital to identified families to allow them to start their own livelihood or food sustainability project to allow these families to have access to food and income.
After months of no gatherings for Sunday worship or Bible studies, the Dumaguete local government is now allowing gathering with strict Implementation of social distancing, wearing of masks, hand sanitization, etc. LCP is gathering for Bible study regularly in every community in small groups to allow for proper distancing measures to be put in place. Sunday worship has resumed for each community to be able to attend once per month on a scheduled basis. 2-3 communities gather for one of 2 services, so there is plenty of room for everyone to maintain physical distancing.
With Sundays at LCP back going, the clinic with a nurse and a doctor is available to members for check ups and distribution of regular maintenance medications. The LCP nurse, Earl Rodriguez, in conjunction with the LCP paramedics have been conducting regular community check ups as well as community heath education sessions regarding COVD-19. LCP is still Coronavirus free, and we pray that will continue in the days going forward.
Handclasp has been providing regular therapies for the children who are able to travel to the center for treatment. For those who cannot travel, the Physical Therapists have assigned a home therapy program for the parents to be able to implement. Where possible, the therapists have been doing home visits to check the children. The Handclasp Program also distributed 10 custom made Standing frames for children with disabilities. These standers are very beneficial for many reasons including digestion, muscle and joint health, relief from sitting or lying down, as well as allows for interaction with other people in standing position.
With the school year approaching, LCP is still committed to provide education for all the sponsored children. Public schools are shifting to a modular or online learning format. The LCP preschool centers will function with a maximum of 15 students each also in a modular format. The Preschool Program has already developed the curriculum and worksheets to fit this new instructional method. The teachers will meet with each student and a parent each week to monitor progress. LCP will be providing supplies like pencils, crayons, paper, etc. so these students can complete their modular learning packets. As part of the COVID response survey, LCP was able to check that all sponsored children are enrolled in public school, their preferred mode of learning, and their access to things needed to maintain an online or modular learning medium. School is scheduled to start on August 24, 2020, and we will continue to monitor the types of assistance that may be needed for the sponsored children enrolled in public school from elementary through 10th grade. Two teachers have been hired to handle our residential shelter children’s modular learning.
For students in senior high (11th & 12th grade) and college, they will be required to use an online learning format. In response to this, LCP scholarship money that would usually go to uniforms or other supplies will be used to purchase phone data to be able to attend their classes on their phones for those who have a device capable of doing so. For those who do not have a device, or have an assignment that cannot be completed on a phone, LCP, with funds from a generous donor, developed a new computer lab next to the library with 8 computers for these students to be able to use for online learning.
These are just a few of the major responses LCW/LCP has undergone to ensure safety and proper response during these uncertain times of the COVID–19 pandemic. Please consider a gift to URGENT NEEDS or a FOOD PACKAGE to help us be able to continue to serve our members in their greatest time of need. Thank you so much for your support and prayers!