How are the young people in your home?
In light of the Delta variant, adolescents and children are now increasingly being affected by the COVID-19 infection. Here in the Philippines, there were around 48,000 cases of those affected who are 19 years old and below by February 2021, but this has since increased to more than 176,000 by August 8, with 466 deaths from our younger population. This has spurred on efforts to vaccinate more adults in order to “cocoon” (or protect) our un-vaccinated minors.
Furthermore, mental health concerns have also risen in this age group as our young people continue to battle their own personal and family issues in the eighteen months of community quarantine, social isolation, and challenges in online learning. Recent studies used the term “languishing” to describe their sense of not thriving and feeling of stagnation and emptiness that could eventually lead to depression and other mental illnesses. In fact, it is reported that the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) hotline has been receiving an increasing number of calls—around four times more—since last year, and most of them from adolescents.
We believe that God will continue to protect and spare the young people of our nation. As they go through this, we pray that they would put their hope in God and find renewed strength in Him.
Each generation would have to fight their own battles, and this is theirs. As Psalm 78:4–7 says, our role as parents and guardians is to “tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and His might, and the wonders that He has done” in order “that the next generation might know them, so that they should set their hope in God.” May they also have a true encounter with the God who saves them!
And they are not without help, for “even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30–31). May they know early in their youth that their own strength could only go so far, and that true and lasting strength can only come when one fully depends on the Lord.
Individual struggles have a way of defining our lives for the better when we respond in the right manner, and going through this pandemic as a nation may have a way of maturing a whole generation. This just might be their preparation to make a difference for the future.
That is our hope, which is why we shall cover the next generation urgently in prayer.
- Pray that God would spare the young people and children from being infected with this disease.
- Pray that young people would look to God, and find hope and strength in Him.
- Ask for much grace for parents and guardians as they help their children navigate through their physical, emotional, mental, and academic concerns.
- Pray for the online Every Nation Campus Leaders Conference on September 10–11, that we may rally our students to be strong in the Lord and raise these young leaders to fulfill their purpose and destiny in Christ.
To learn more about the COVID-19 situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.
- Philippine Daily Inquirer article on the number of COVID-19 cases among the youth
- CNN article on COVID-19 infection among children
- Philippine Daily Inquirer article on a group advocating vaccination among children
- GMA News article about more adolescents calling the mental health hotline
- Business World article about languishing among Filipino teens in the midst of the pandemic