With the current global outbreak of coronavirus, we thought you would be interested to know how the May family and the students are doing at the LST.
The Lutheran School of Theology appreciates prayers for them and the whole country of Kenya during the COVID-19 crisis. As of this week, the borders of Kenya are now closed. Rev. May and his family, as well as the students and staff who remain at the LST are now sheltering in place. The LST compound is self-quarantined; the gates are closed for in and out traffic.
After an order by the authorities, students are no longer allowed to attend classes. They are, however, able to privately study, pray, and continue learning the Catechism. During this time, Rev. May is attending to the spiritual needs of both his family and the remaining students. Together with the students and staff he also works on road construction and other tasks.
As the country faces lockdown by implemented curfews, closures of restaurants, and prohibited social gatherings among many other restrictions, economic plummet glooms in not so far future. Tourism is the number one industry in Kenya. Holiday resorts, hotels, and game parks employ thousands of people who all of a sudden do not have jobs.
In the slums, the majority of people live from hand to mouth and cannot choose to stay at home and isolate themselves, because that would bring about swift starvation. Many of those jobs will, however, be cut. No wonder that security advisors send out predicted threats of civil unrest and crime when people’s incomes dwindle. There have already been isolated incidents of xenophobic attacks as angry mobs blame foreigners for bringing the virus to Kenya.
If the virus spreads, the country is sorely unable to provide medical assistance for large groups of patients. Proper masks, test kits, and ventilators are not available in quantities that Western world has in their arsenal. “Unconfirmed reports put the country-wide Intensive Care Unit capacity between 100-500 beds with ventilators. Test kits remain in short supply as indicated by the 177 tests to this point … The system will be rapidly overwhelmed.” (
Security briefing note
for COVID-19 in Nairobi, Kenya. 3/23/2020.)
At the LST, it has been the matter of great importance to continue providing jobs to all the staff rather than send everyone away. The requirement is to remain on campus. When anyone wishes to go home, they are free to do so, but cannot return until the virus is contained. Because people at the LST are unable to make regular trips to town, they are heavily relying on the supplies at the school.
Thankfully God has blessed the school with an abundant garden that provides variety of vegetables. Also chickens, eggs, and beef are plentiful. They now see the importance of being as self-sustainable as possible!
Please pray for the May family, for their faithful work as they remain with and stand by the people in Kenya, for all those at the LST, and the country of Kenya. In addition, remember the two oldest May children, who are in lockdown in Mayer, Minnesota, in your prayers.
They miss being in contact with their friends and going to school rather than doing online learning. This is especially hard for Maggie who feels robbed out of all special high school senior year events.