Greetings from the APF UK team.

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is impacting us all and I wanted to reach out to friends and partners in Africa to share how APF is responding.

More than 150 nations have confirmed cases. Globally more than 10,000 people have died, over 280 here in the UK (as of this morning). Our exceptional National Health Service (NHS) and armed forces are being prepared for an unprecedented demand for critical care. The population is being advised against all non-essential social contact to mitigate the risk of getting and passing on the virus: social distancing (staying 2 metres away from other people), working from home and self-isolation. Not to mention hand washing, hand washing, hand washing … Being a good neighbour now means keeping your distance and loving your neighbour must be expressed in new ways.

In addition to concerns about my immediate family (my mother, firstborn son, daughter-in-law and two young grandsons are currently self-isolating) I am also mindful of friends and partners in Africa who do not have access to the same clinical infrastructure as the UK enjoys. Click here to access practical advice from the NHS about how to protect yourself and others from the virus. This is good advice in any context. It is beholden upon the people of God to set an example in protecting our neighbour in these ways.

It is impossible for APF to plan any Africa visits for the foreseeable future, so we are exploring how to make better use of online platforms to gather, inform, inspire and pray. If you are able, APF will be hosting a Zoom conference call on Friday 27th March:
  • 12pm – 2pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
  • 1pm – 3pm West Africa Time (WAT)
  • 2pm – 4pm Central Africa Time (CAT)
  • 3pm – 5pm East Africa Time (EAT)

You are warmly invited. I will prepare a Bible Study which will commence at 12.30pm GMT and we will also discuss how to utilise technology to help keep one another’s arms aloft in the coming days. You will be able to join in by clicking the button below from 12pm GMT on Friday 27th March. You do not need to install any software or register to access Zoom.

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS ZOOM COMFERENCE CALL:
Join from 12pm GMT on Friday 27th March

 

We cannot predict to what extent, but it is clear that coronavirus will impact APF financially. This means we will be managing our limited resources carefully. I am aware that in many nations religious gatherings are banned and freedom of movement restricted so conferences and workshops planned for the next few months will not be able to happen. Being a good neighbour necessitates social distance during this season. Funds committed for these conferences and workshops will be retained here in UK for use in Africa later. I will communicate directly with those of you affected by this.

I look forward to seeing many of you online next Friday. In the meantime, let’s be good neighbours by following the socio-clinical advice, harnessing the potential for virtual fellowship and praying together: Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

Grace and Peace,

Revd Dave Stedman
CEO