UnitingWorld has been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its impact on our partners and their communities.
We want to keep our staff, supporters and partners safe and we want to do our part to protect their friends, families and the broader community we work in.
As we work with vulnerable people in places that will be severely affected by the spread of the Coronavirus, our priority is to our partners and their communities, and we will seek to carry on our vital work with as little disruption as possible.
We have put in place a detailed risk management plan, and we will be updating it regularly. We are also in regular contact with our partners who are creating their own, and helping where we can.
We will have reduced staffing in the office, but we are set up to answer your calls and emails as always. Please bear with us if our response to your traditional mail is slightly slower than usual.
We ask you to join us in prayer for all those affected by the Coronavirus, particularly the vulnerable people and communities we work alongside. We don’t know what the full impact of COVID-19 will be on our partners and their communities, but we are preparing ourselves to stand with them, and respond as we can. Most of them do not have access to the same health care systems, insurance or savings that we may enjoy.
Now more than ever, we need to help and pray for one another. We will keep you updated as we know more.
Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all (Galatians 6:9-10)
Rev Dr Mery Kolimon, Moderator of our partner in West Timor (GMIT), has written a prayer below in English and Indonesian. NOTE: We published the prayer unedited out of respect for our partners. Please consider cultural differences and the difficulties of translation in your reading.
Header image: Our partners in Papua New Guinea run community education on handwashing and water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) to prevent the spread of deadly water-borne diseases. Read more here.
FORGIVE US, MOTHER EARTH
A prayer by Mery Kolimon, 16 Mar 2020
Beloved Mother Earth,
All other creatures,
Fellow germs and viruses,
Forgive us for belittling you,
Exploiting, attacking, and hurting you, even
Wanting to destroy you.
With COVID-19 since the beginning of this year
The Creator has made all things good.
All creatures are our brothers and sisters
Living by the Grace of The Creator of life
Blessed by the Earth that gives food each day.
Yet we have hurt Mother Earth.
We have destroyed our brothers and sisters.
With a desire for more and more wealth, more and more prosperity
We have damaged the earth without mercy.
We dump our waste everywhere
The oceans, mountains, fields, and forests
Broken by our actions.
Even the bowels of the earth have been dredged without mercy
For gold, coal, manganese, marble, and other minerals.
Forgive our pride and greed.
Forgive our arrogance and evil ways.
May this plague be an opportunity for us to learn
That our human economy is not everything.
The economy must move with ecology.
Ecology and economy must be balanced for the sake of the oikoumene,
So the Earth can be a home worthy of inhabitance by all creatures.
May we learn with our minds, all of creation is not our enemy
We must organize our lives more wisely
To distance life from extinction
So that we of this generation
May experience the intention of The Creator of Life that is truly good.
Forgive us, Mother Earth,
Forgive us, fellow members of creation.
Please accept us back in the dance of divine life
Where we hug each other as brothers and sisters
Sharing energy with each other for life that is mutual and whole.
MOHON AMPUN, IBU BUMI
Mery Kolimon, 16 Mar 2020
Ibu bumi terkasih
Segala ciptaan yang lain,
Kuman-kuman dan virus sesama ciptaan
Maafkan kami yang telah merendahkanmu
Mengeksploitasi, menyerang, melukai, bahkan ingin menghancurkanmu.
Di wabah COVID-19 di awal tahun ini
Sang Pencipta membuat semua sungguh sangat baik
Semua makhluk adalah saudara
Hidup dari Anugerah Sang Pencipta kehidupan
Dinafkahi oleh Bumi yg memberi makan setiap hari.
Namun kami telah menyakiti Ibu Pertiwi
Kami menghancurkan saudara-saudara kami.
Hasrat utk makin kaya dan makin makmur
Membuat kami merusak bumi tanpa ampun
Sampah kami buang sembarangan
Laut, gunung, padang, hutan rusak karena perilaku kami.
Bahkan perut bumi kami kuras tanpa ampun
Utk emas, batu bara, dan mineral lainnya.
Ampuni kesombongan dan keserakahan kami.
Ampuni kepongahan dan kejahatan kami.
Biarlah ini wabah ini jadi kesempatan kami belajar
Ekonomi manusia bukan segalanya
Ekonomi harus berjalan dengan Ekologi
Ekologi dan Ekonomi harus seimbang dalam Ekumene
Agar Bumi jadi rumah yg layak didiami semua makhluk.
Kiranya dengan budi kami belajar sesama ciptaan bukan musuh
Kami mesti menata hidup lebih bijak
Agar jauh kehidupan dari kemusnahan
Agar maksud Pencipta itu kehidupan yang sungguh sangat baik itu
Dapat kami alami juga di generasi ini.
Ampuni kami Ibu Bumi
Ampuni kami sesama ciptaan yang lain.
Berkenan terimalah kami kembali dalam tarian kehidupan Ilahi
Yang saling merangkul sbg saudara
Saling berbagi energi utk kehidupan bersama yg utuh.
UnitingWorld is the international aid and partnerships agency of the Uniting Church in Australia, collaborating for a world free from poverty and injustice. Click here to support our work.