Lockdown or No Lockdown, Women Meet in Online Prayer

Lockdown or No Lockdown, Women Meet in Online Prayer

Rubina Arthur

Capitalising on what British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson calls, 'the wizardry of modern technology', the prayer warfare started from six in the morning till six in the evening.

Women of all ages, from different spheres of life, used their mobile phones to unite with one accord and reached out to the most high God every hour, to intervene with the current covid-19 pandemic, which has not only attacked many nations around the world, but has also resulted in all social gathering venues being shut for business, including all churches.

Mrs Betty DwomohMrs Betty Dwomoh, popularly known as Auntie Betty, the current Women's Ministries Director at the London Ghana Adventist church, has found herself in a unique position fighting the virus on several fronts. As an NHS professional, not only is she directly fighting the virus physically at the hospital she works at in London, but as a wife, a mother and a grandmother, she can relate to the challenges which this dreadful virus is causing other women and their families within their local communities.

Speaking in her usual passionate style, Auntie Betty said during a telephone interview, "This is not the time for us women to wallow in self-pity or fear. I sometimes feel that fear alone is probably going to claim more lives than the pandemic itself due to panic! Desperate times calls for desperate measures and setting aside a whole day, where we can all tune in to intercede for each other, while also following practical hygienic advice, I believe is far more productive, than panicking unnecessarily."

Prayer topics included intervention for healing for the sick around the world, protection for the elderly and vulnerable members of the society, families, different sectors of the community, all types of leaders including those at the grass roots, world leaders and protection for clinicians, keyworkers and volunteers who are directly or indirectly coming into contact with the virus in order to help others.

Despite the urgent call to prayer, some women also highlighted the importance of giving thanks and acknowledging some of the wonderful things happening like the thousands of people who have recovered from the virus despite having experienced symptoms over the past few weeks and the hope that this brings to everyone.

Ms Felicity Konama was ecstatic when I spoke to her about her experience of the 'prayer battle' on the phone. She said, "Wow! I'm buzzing right now! I feel so encouraged and refreshed! London Ghana is my home church, but it has been tough commuting to London over the past few years since I moved to Norfolk and also having tough shifts as a forensic psychiatric nurse. I found it really special, that I didn't need to be physically in the church building and was still able to take part in this very spiritually uplifting exercise."

In an attempt to ease the pressures of being stuck indoors with restless children and husbands who have no access to sports and other means of 'active leisure', Auntie Betty and her team are determined for the 'prayer chain' activity not to be a 'one hit' wonder. They are actively working closely with the Adventist Young Ladies, the younger sisters of the London Ghana Adventist Women's Ministries Department, to drop a series of web-based programmes to engage with women while they are stuck at home.

Mrs Foriwaah Ntiamoah Amponsa, a member of the UK social work force, is one of the 'young ladies' and she will take an active role in ensuring that different dynamic topics are dropped on a variety of social media platforms that will have a positive impact on women and their families. She commented, "we don't want women to feel isolated and left out just because they find themselves in a situation which is through no fault of their own. We will work with a variety of professionals such as educators, social workers, caterers, health practitioners and others in conjunction with our communications teams, to give tips on different topics that will engage with children and the entire family, to keep them focused during this period of lockdown."

The proposed initiative is music to Mrs Bernice Asamoah's ears. Currently on maternity leave, she has four children in total and definitely understands the challenge of being indoors with children and young people of different age groups. She said, "well, I can't wait for these videos and other web tips to pop up on my phone! I'm a teacher and even I have found this lockdown not easy at all, so I can only imagine how other women from diverse backgrounds are feeling."

The past few weeks has definitely shed new light, on what it means to 'keep the faith' and in the coming weeks and months, only time will tell, as to the true measure, for which the success of the new London Ghana Women's Ministries and perhaps, the Women Ministries at large, will look like.