Affects of COIVID - 19 on our Missionaries
Please ask for God to grant our family health and protection here.
Join us in covering each of the national translators and their families in prayer at this time of intense spiritual warfare as we launch scripture for the first time in their language.
Pray for the impact of scripture to be multiplied because of the current situation.
We are praying that isolation efforts in this country are effective at stemming coronavirus for a vulnerable population with a fragile health care system.
Thanks for asking about us! Yes, we’re feeling overwhelmed. On top of locust swarms devouring crops to the east, internally displaced people to the north, Lassa hemorrhagic fever in countries next door and everyday malaria, now there are confirmed cases of coronavirus in our country of residence. That is why we are here. In the midst of uncertainty, we count it pure joy to bring hope and courage to people through Bible translation. Yes, translating God’s Word is part of essential services.
Emotions are mixed as we prepare for the launch of the newly printed New Testaments. It’s true that because of government limitations on any gatherings, we can’t invite everyone to a big celebration of the New Testaments. But on April 18 we are still planning to release the New Testaments and scripture phone apps. With people feeling unsettled, there are many opportunities for people to spend time absorbing God’s Word and listening to God. This is the same prayer we have for ourselves and for you at Granada!
Like many of you, we mostly stay at home and limit our outings to a minimum. Andy is working on scripture phone apps. (Send Andy a text or email if you have an Android phone and want to test-drive one of the apps). Both boys are now schooling from home as well. We are planning to remain at our current location in order to avoid international travel. The safest place is always in the center of God’s will. Pray for us to be good listeners to the Holy Spirit and for boldness to trust Him to do more than we can think or imagine (Eph 3:20).
Thanks for lifting us up in your prayers!
- For wisdom for the Cambodian government in decisions related to laws that will protect the Cambodian people and curb the spread of the virus.
- For the protection for our team and the Cambodian people from this virus, especially the poor. For peace in the midst of a lot of fear that is circling about the virus.
- For the Cambodian church to rise up as encouragers and those who spread hope and tangible help to their communities.
- For wisdom for me and my teammates in how we can be a blessing to the communities we are in, in the midst of minimal social contact with others
On a personal note, I am healthy, and I feel safe where I am. As the window of opportunity for international flights continues to close, I still feel peace about staying here in Cambodia rather than evacuating back to the States.
It’s been a struggle but also a joy to adjust to the daily life changes due to the virus, and to figure out how to make good use of my time each day, since I am not meeting face-to-face with youth as I was before. It's challenging to find new rhythms of staying connected to my English students and youth from the youth group virtually, but I'm hoping to keep trying and to find some rhythm in staying connected.
Along with my team here at YWAM, I have been going out to villages to distribute health information to village leaders so that they are more aware of the signs and symptoms of the virus, and how to protect themselves and their families. We have had some positive connections with village leaders, and meeting with villagers seemed to calm many people’s fears, especially the older population who is very fearful of the virus. Along with a team of others from YWAM and other believers in the Stung Treng community, we were able to cover most of the main areas of the province to get this information out to villages that may not have access to valid news sources, so we hope that this will be information that helps to prevent the spread of the virus!
Even though there are no major outbreaks here yet, we are still bracing ourselves for the worst, as we all know that numbers can jump quickly and without warning. It will be incredibly challenging for many hospitals here to effectively treat the more severe cases of the virus due to the lack of ventilators and other life-saving equipment available in-country. For that reason among others, if and when an outbreak occurs, it has the potential to hit hard and take many lives.
In addition, as we're all aware, there is a huge financial impact that comes along with the virus that hits all of us, especially the poor. With Cambodia being a developing country with many people living day-to-day, changes in the economy will impact especially those who are already living on the margin. We already see that happening in some ways even before any outbreaks occur here. Because I’d rather err on the side of preparing for worst-case scenarios instead of relaxing because there are not yet any major outbreaks, I’d love to ask you to join me in praying for Cambodia for these specific areas.
Thank you for praying! If there is any way I can be praying for you and your family, please let me know. I would love to pray for you too!
Dear GranadaOriginally, Steven was going to be the main speaker for our April Missions Sunday. However the Lord had different plans and he was not able to make it. Steven wanted to share a few thoughts and prayer requests."When we were there in 2013, you were an amazing partner and friend to us. We are so amazed and blessed that we have a Church like Granada who continually cares for us and our ministry! Here are a few things that we are very grateful!Maintain our facility - The Lord has provided the means to maintain the River of Comfort facilityStoring Clean water - We have the ability to store clean water for our seniorsSeniors are safe and can continue to do things like garden etc. that they enjoySeniors have been able to gain basic health insurance but remain pretty healthy during this timeReceive great gifts - especially the women have appreciated it and been able to give gifts that they have made2018 Granada team - We loved having the Granada team join us and do ministry with us. Such a blessing!Great Board - We are so thankful to have a great board that continually advocates for us!Thank you for your continued prayers Granada! Your partnership means so much to us!
- Pray for continued good health for the seniors at River of Comfort
- Pray for increased financial support
- Pray for provision for an kitchen
- Pray for Gods favor for wisdom and strength for us
- Pray for good communication, for good connections and that we would be able to make good progress on the sites in spite of working remotely.
- Pray for spiritual growth and faithfulness and peace during this time
- Pray continued safety for the whole family
So far we and our children with their spouses (and our granddaughter!) are healthy - and we are all able to work from our homes.
As of today many shops in Germany remain closed, except grocery stores, pharmacies, banks. Church services don't take place, but some churches have online services. I (Dan) had to postpone my trip to Senegal that was planned for March 22. Thankfully, we both can do a lot of our work from home. I will try to do the website teaching for the ndut team (and possibly two other teams) in Senegal via Skype. Pray for good communication, for good connections and that we would be able to make good progress on the sites in spite of working remotely. We are hoping to get the website for the Ndut team up and running ahead of the NT+Genesis dedication planned for the end of October. The next planned workshop is in Congo brazzaville June 20 to July 4. Pray for wisdom and timing for either booking flights - or rescheduling.
Our Director in Germany shared with us some thoughts in an email today on the subject of hope in this time of worldwide crisis - that we need it, and that it needs to come from outside of us. In this context she shared some verses on hope from Romans 5.1-5, and Rom 15.13 - think this last verse would be an appropriate one to use as you pray for us... I especially like the German New Geneva translation, which reads something like this (my translation from German) :
" So it is my prayer that God, the source of all hope, give you full joy and full peace in your faith, so that your hope would become ever more unshakeable through the power of the Holy Spirit "
- Pray for Neighbors: That I respond well to my neighbors. My automatic response to friends and neighbors nearby is to bake them a batch of cookies to express kindness and the hope of returned normalcy … but I’m afraid my apron strings are tied now as there is so much fear of the virus being spread by folks who don’t even feel sick … Hmmm. BUT I still want to minister to those nearby (my neighbors). Please pray that I can determine what I can do that will truly minister to them – to point them to a God who does care and is the source of all comfort.
- Pray for Health: That I make wise decisions in terms of my own health. Because I am in that vulnerable category (due to age, and longstanding medical conditions) I also need wisdom to know how to respond in terms of people contact, and the grace to live well in solitude for the foreseeable future
- Pray for Provision: For my little community of Pine River … that God would provide in amazing ways so that those whose bank accounts will be impacted by the closure of schools, churches, and service industries will still have their needs met, and will be pointed to God so that He will be glorified. I believe only the Lord can pull this off!
- Pray for Spiritual revival: I have to say it. That there will be repentance of our pride in our national “greatness” and instead a humble recognition that only God is great – so that everyone will lean on Him for discerning responses, rather than relying on human ingenuity. We may be intelligent, well educated, and with a plethora of resources … but only God is omniscient! I say this with three fingers pointing at me as well as the one pointing outward to those in our national, state, regional, and local governments.
Contributing to the cause of Bible translation, now through sociolinguistic consulting, is a joy. This week I had a chance to again encourage a colleague in her academic writing. It takes a lot of grace and humility to put one’s work before the eyes of another for critical review. It has been so good to be able to work with her … to enjoy this collegiality.
I also received an e-mail from a former student asking for prayer and advice in approaching a knotty dialect situation where he is currenting working (Cameroon, Africa). I did my best to give him avenues for consideration that could help him determine whether a revision of a New Testament was advisable, as well as the possibility of potential use of that same New Testament in a related language variety. I so enjoyed the collegiality of interacting with this former student. He and his wife were so easy to work with when they were students in my class, and still a joy to interact with as peers in missions.
This week the five of us working on the “understanding language ecologies” (ULE) questionnaire brought it to pilot stage. It has been great to contribute in collegiality with the four men, and now be blessed by the collegial cooperation of two special couples, friends from my years in Papua New Guinea, who are willing to help us pilot test the questionnaire. The goal of this work is to track the changes of the sociolinguistic environment of languages through the years of a translation program.
I also received my statement from Wycliffe this week. I felt such a great sense of gratitude for the faithfulness of my financial supporters. These dear men and women (whether as church polities or individuals) continue to partner with me and make it possible for me to continue in collegial contribution to the cause of Bible translation throughout the world.
You too are part of the collegiality I have sensed this week. The power of coordinated prayer with and for me is vital. How I thank you. It also has been so good to be able to hear from some of you and to pray with you for issues that you are facing. You honor me. In truth we are colleagues in the best sense of the term – here on earth, and in the praises of heaven to come.
Prayer Points for this week - May 11-17:
Meetings - I have one or more Skype meetings scheduled every day this week but Tuesday. By definition skype is a conversation, which, if it is to be productive, is based on listening well, hearing between the lines when necessary, and responding clearly.
Technology - Skype depends on technology working well – including the interface between me and this machine. Thank you for praying that the computer – program – ether net – and I would work in a pleasing symphony of coordination – so that these meetings can occur!
Work – That I will have the creativity to be able to work with positive productivity, balancing both life and responsibilities as a consultant, in the conscious awareness of the Lord’s companionship and direction.
May the Lord bless you, my friends. I wish for you a very, very good week – surrounded by the Lord’s presence and evident love.
- Prayer for the Genesis University in South Africa project to remain on schedule during the pandemic
- Praise that the family is together in the US
- Prayer for family as they continue with online school and stay entertained during these times
One month ago, we boarded an Ethiopian Airlines, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, from Chicago to Johannesburg, South Africa. We left behind family, friends and our latest daughter Zoe. Our expectations were high as we thought about all the work needed to be done to get Genesis University approved and accredited! We sat in the back of the plane by an Indian Muslim man with 8 kids, ranging from 10 months to 11 years old! What kind of insane people travel with 8 kids to Africa? Oh wait, us! This man’s rotund wife (she was pregnant with twins) sat undisturbed near the front of the plane. She certainly deserved the upgrade and the good graces from her husband! Twice I found an Indian child sandwiched between Stephen and Esther playing video games. One time I woke up and Marion was holding the baby! This father never complained. All he kept saying was, “I’m so blessed!” I know how he feels!
The man across our row was another Muslim gentleman wearing a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. Having recently attended a Tigers spring training game with my son and grandsons against the Mets (Yes, the one where Tim Tebow hit a massive homerun), I tried to talk baseball, but he didn’t speak much English. Not only was he sporting some sweet MLB gear, but this man was wearing a face mask and rubber gloves. And of course, I judged him as a paranoid, Coronavirus radical. I probably should have paid more attention!
Now we’re back in St. Louis, quarantined, and wearing our own face masks and gloves to Walmart. We tried to get our high school and college kids to South Africa, but Americans weren’t allowed in. As government began shutting down everything in Johannesburg, we decided to come home. We caught one of the last flights out. Many Americans couldn’t get out and are still there. Our son David, his wife Katie and our granddaughter Addie are still in Uganda. They have tickets to fly out today (Friday), and a special letter from the Office of the President to travel to the airport. The military has just been brought in to keep the peace in Uganda. Please pray for their safe arrival back to the States. In fact, as I write this they just got to the airport!!
These are difficult and uncertain times! Our lives are changing by the day! Praise the Lord, God has not changed! He is on His sovereign throne, mighty, righteous and loving. He promises to protect, provide and never let us go (Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:9; Matthew 28:20). I want to encourage you to put your trust in Him. Be a light and shine the goodness of the gospel. Be an example of hope in the midst of hopelessness. Pray that God will be glorified in these uncertain and changing days!
And please continue to pray for Genesis University. Although the South African government is locking down airports, churches and businesses, the work of Genesis continues. Our team of directors and educational consultants are busy writing curriculum for our first degree. We are preparing documents for institutional approval with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). And here’s some exciting news, we are looking for a site to begin school in 2022. As part of the criteria for government approval and accreditation, we must find a location (preferably a church) to host the first classes of Genesis University. Would you please join us in prayer regarding these matters?
Thank you for your prayers and support of our family. We need you now more than ever! May God continue to protect and bless all of us, as we keep our eyes on Him!
- Pray for Malawi as a nation that they will be protected from the virus spreading further. Their health system cannot cope with large numbers of sick people, and people will fall into further poverty and hunger if the country has an extended shut down.
- • Pray for the students in public primary and secondary schools who do not have access to books or E-learning. They rely on the notes they copied from the chalkboard. Pray that the notes they are studying will help them continue to learn during the shutdown of the schools.
- • Pray for the youth in our sponsored communities (villages). Pray that they will continue applying their Why Wait? Biblical life skills in their day-to-day activities, and for great spiritual growth during this time! Pray they will not fall into temptation, but use this time to do good and serve others!
- • Pray for the hundreds of kids and youth who can no longer visit SAFE Haven’s programs during this shutdown. Pray they and their families remain safe, and the building and equipment at SAFE Haven is protected from theft or damage.
- • Pray for the many people that have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior through Bible study groups and the Our Savior’s Church Ministry that was begun at Kachindamoto. Pray they can continue meeting during this time!
- Pray for the released inmates who became Christians and received discipleship and training while in prison. Pray that they will stand in their faith back in their communities. Pray God will use them! Some of these prisoners are being released because of the virus.
- • Pray for justice in the country following the court’s announcement about finding corruption in the last presidential election. Pray for the new election July 2, that it is fair, no violence and accepted by all parties.
- • Pray for our 88 caregivers (preschool teachers) and 44 cooks to be kept safe as well as the 1,186 little girls and 1,033 little boys in our CBCCs.
- • Pray especially for the gogos in Malawi who will be some of the most vulnerable to the virus.
- • Pray for God to provide just what is needed. Like many other ministries, we had several major
fundraisers cancelled due to the virus --- But God!
Charlotte Day celebrated her 90th birthday April 30. She has shown us what it means to be face to face with our sisters and brothers in Christ in Malawi and face to face with our Lord as we pray for one another.
Thank you Lord for…
• Protecting all our village communities as well as us as SAFE staff from the COVID-19 virus until now. It has only been found in the 3 larger cities so far.
• The good seed of God’s truth that has been planted in gogos, children, youth, teachers, students and inmates as they wait to see if the Corona Virus is going to reach their area.
• Charlotte Day’s successful surgery for a broken femur. Giving thanks that she was able to celebrate her 90th birthday with her family – She is well on the road to recovery here in the U.S.
• Charlotte’s Birthday with a Purpose that helped to raise funds that will meet some of the needs in Malawi during this shutdown.
- Pray that the Lord may keep us strong in faith and that we will play our part to protect ourselves and others from contracting the virus
- Pray that God will provide for the guardians taking care of ByGrace kids, for wisdom and provision. Loss of jobs will soon lead to impoverishment
- Pray for provision which is needed to offer support to ByGrace kids and their guardians so that they may be well fed, keep safe and strong to prevent and fight the virus
- Pray that we will be firm in educating people about social distancing as most continue to ignore as they fear for survival
"Thank you so much for you love and continued support. We are praying for all of you, our friends and partners and we know we are in this together. May the Lord heal the nations of the earth. May Lord manifest his power and knowledge in helping us find a solution. May the Lord use this season to bring many souls to Himself. May the Lord bless Granada."
"Kenya has 25 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with over 18 cases reported in the last three days while the others slowly showed up earlier in the month. It seems like, similar to other nations, we are yet to get to the climax of the menace. We are fervently praying for God’s intervention.
- Schools have been closed in the last two weeks and at least for another two. Hence, all our children of ByGrace Children’s Home are living with their guardians, usually relatives living in the slums and other poverty-stricken areas. Currently, those from Nairobi are travelling back to their villages where they think they will be free from the virus. Unfortunately, the government has confirmed that some cases are being exported into the rural areas from the urban areas, just like the first around 15 cases of those who tested positive imported the virus from abroad – US, UK and Italy, among others.
- Most people are working from home including Stephen and I. This is a sharp learning curve for most students and staff. Thankfully, I have been already teaching online and Stephen has already been having most of his international and African board meetings online. We however have been experiencing some frustrations due to some delayed processes and procedures emanating from those who do not want to transition and those who are facing various limitations. I continue to pray that we will make good progress and continue offering our students the much learning and services that they need from us. We also pray that we will be able to minister to each other even as we go through a very difficult season.
- The Mbogo family is still full house (20) as the semester continues through online learning. We have set tight rules with the children and as a family we are doing our best to keep adequate social distancing. We are taking the opportunity to learn new skills and pray for the nations of the world.
- While food and other supplies are accessible, their cost has escalated even as the Kenya shilling has drastically weakened.
- Pray that the Lord may keep us strong in faith and that we will play our part to protect ourselves and others from contracting the virus
- Pray for Steves compromised immunity and not great lungs
- Pray for daughter Carisa to stay health while being a nurse
- Pray for future planning in ministry and with family
- Pray for spiritual growth and Trust in God
Thank you also from Steve and I for asking. We are doing fine. And of course with Steve’s compromised immunity and not so great lungs we are staying at home. I have gone out walking for exercise and to the grocery store but I am really working from home. Our staff team with the JesusFilm has had meetings virtually to do some work together yesterday.
We were all encouraged to make the choices that are best for our own situations.
I am looking forward to collaborating more with some of the people I met at saddleback in October who are doing online ESL teaching. We have “hybridized” 10 of the 12 lessons to make them more user friendly as part of the path to make them available on the JESUS film website sometime in the future.
But back to our current reality, please pray for our daughter Carisa as she is a pediatric nurse practitioner with cancer kiddos. Her schedule of constantly changing and she needs to self isolate pretty much to prevent her from being exposed and bringing stuff back to the patients. Pray for stamina and peace for her and our dear son in law Kyle as he was the last one hired at the law firm. Less work for the firm... pray for peace for them.
Pray for continued wisdom for Matt and fiancé in Iowa as they plan their August 30 wedding!
We all cancelled our plans to bury my dad’s ashes outside of San Francisco April 6th.
- Pray more people would be hearing the Gospel message
- Pray FEBC can continue to be creative in presenting the Gospel message
"My planed travels in March and April have been canceled, so that it gives me more time to work from home. Since my work is anyway quite international, with people in different countries and places, I am already used to meetings by SKYPE/ZOOM/WhatsApp/E-MAIL… The radio broadcast also has no bans due to viruses. Actually, every crisis gives us a good opportunity to talk about the eternal matters on our broadcasts. Not that we desire such challenges. I don’t think that God desires them either. However, He is Great in using such challenges to help people to refocus on eternal matters, rather than to overrate temporary stuff. People are much more open to hear the Gospel, especially since only in Jesus there is true eternal hope and also true encouragement even here in this life.
Just talked to our people in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Islam is the traditional religion of the Kyrgyz people. Many there are in panic, due to all the isolations regarding the COVID-19. Even the mountain pass that separates North and South of the country has been closed. There is not much of a message of hope in Islam, mainly “fate.” However, in Christ there is great hope and encouragement for life. So, one of our broadcasters there did a talk-show on the reality of “health antidote.” Health is also contagious. It ended up to be the most uplifting broadcast. It also gave a great opportunity to share the Gospel. The Gospel is the true “Salvation antidote” to any and all evils.
Here are just a couple of responses from our listeners in Kyrgyzstan.
Nazima: “The death of my father was very stressful to me. I gained much weight and lost confidence in myself. Basically, my life became a disaster. Recently I started to listen to your station. Somehow, you’ve managed to bring me back to life. Thank you. Now I have a better outlook on life, compared to the days before my father’s passing. I think that the major change comes from putting my trust in God, rather than myself. Thank you!”
Ainagul: “I’ve been married for 20 years to an abusive husband. I constantly ask Allah why life is so unfair. In your broadcasts, you talk about a loving God. Actually, I always feel encouraged after listening to your program. Somehow, your words put hope in to my heart. Sometimes I really seem to believe that God does love me…”
Pray for us that the Lord will continue to provide.
Pray that the peace of God will rest on us.
Pray the Lord will protect us and specially the 19 girls at our Steps home
Dear Steps Partners,
Greetings to you all from Steps!
I trust you all are well and taking care of yourselves at this unprecedented period in our lives.
Even as we are in the second month of lockdown, life goes on and we have much to report and to share with you about our Steps Home. Three of our full-time staff left for their homes mid-March when the strict lockdown was imposed on the country. To add to this stress and uncertainty, the husband of one of our caregivers passed away on Easter Sunday morning.
The Lord has watched over us! Every night when we come together for family devotions, we pray for the world and especially for those who have been affected by the virus. One of the girls from the Home prayed: "One drop of your blood can heal our land and the world". She is only 12 years old. The faith of children is often far greater than the faith of us elders. No wonder, Jesus had a special heart and love for them.
45 days of quarantine is coming to a swift end. India is still struggling to flatten the curve and the war is on, even as more and more cases of infected people surface, just as much as people are being healed and returning to normal life. As a security and protective measure, we have moved the STEPS girls into our home and we are all living under one roof. So life as we know it has taken on a centralized routine, and by God’s grace, all is well.
Tara is trying her best to keep them engaged. Most of them have classes via Zoom every day to help them get prepared and equipped for the forthcoming academic year. At this point in time, there is no news of when schools are likely to begin for the new academic year. Even the Grade 10 Government exams have been moved indefinitely, creating a feeling of uncertainty. But we thank and praise God that He knows what lies ahead and we are learning to rest in this knowledge, that our God’s got this. The Lord has miraculously provided thus far for our girls. We covet your prayers and financial support during this rather uncertain and unpredictable time.
We know that many of you, yourselves, are going through uncharted waters, unsure of the future. We believe that the Lord will provide for you in a very special way.
Challenging days are ahead. Thank you for standing with us and for coming alongside us to help us. In the coming months, we will look to you for help with the living expenses, school fees, caregivers' salaries, and all our other ongoing expenses. We look to you to stand with us as you have over the years. We thank God for every remembrance of you.
As I close just a reminder to all of us what James 1:27 has to say to all of us.
"True spirituality that is pure in the eyes of our God is to make a difference in the lives of the orphans, and widows in their troubles'
So in the midst of the pandemic outbreak and all that's going on in our world please don't forget the orphans, the vulnerable, and the marginalized.
- Pray Lord may intervene in the current situation
- Pray to continue turning our eyes to Him who has conquered
- Pray for Governments in the world
"Greetings from Musanze, Rwanda!
When last month I came from Nairobi to Musanze (that is where we have offices for TLAfrica, Inc. in Rwanda), I was coming to stay for a month, then travel to the USA. For that reason, Salome, my wife, had decided to stay in Nairobi, mentoring a new staff under her supervision (the new staff is project manager for Kenya and deals with women empowerment, a department that Salome developed in the organization).
Without getting into details, my trip was canceled due to the effects of Coronavirus that we are all aware of, and even the fundraising event that I was planning to attend in California!
The following move was to see how Salome could join me in Rwanda. We got an air ticket, she was able to fly in but now she needs to self-isolate for 14 days. We are both working from home and I have advised all our staff in Africa to also work from home (it's actually mandatory for Rwanda to work from home for the next two weeks).
This of course gives us time to pray and reflect.
Friends, the Lord is still on His throne and He reigns. Governments, Corporations, Multi-national organizations, families, businesses, individuals ... had plans - but the Coronavirus has reminded us that everything on earth works under the will and blessing of the Creator - that the Lord governs in the affairs of man.
We therefore need to keep praying that the Lord may intervene in the current situation, for it's only Him who can turn trials into triumphs, for His glory and the maturing of his children (those who are are willing to learn from what He is doing in his creation).
Let's continue turning our eyes to Him who has conquered; he will give us victory in his own way and at this own time. The process of waiting upon him may be difficult, but it's His best school to transform us into his image!
Let's keep praying for Governments in the world as they guide humanity into measures to curb the spread of the virus, and let's pray for the Church that this would be a time to reflect on what that Lord is teaching us through this pandemic."
- Pray Lord may intervene in the current situation
- Prayer for the family as school and work are all from home
- Prayer for health precautions with three kids
- Pray for continued faithfulness in ministry and home life
I have the general changes common to all of us in SoCal, but many missionaries who are with SEND International are facing more changes. Our folks in the big country in East Asia have been evacuated; Spain is under total lockdown (they get fined for being out of the house unless they’re going to the grocery store, pharmacy, or hospital). Nearly everyone in well-developed areas has had at least the same kinds of closures we’ve had (if not more). I’ve not heard yet what’s going on in rural Russia or rural Thailand. So, in-person ministry is certainly rare these days, but our communities still need the hope of Christ — now more than ever. Our folks are trying to be creative, reaching out via social media, texting, FaceTime, etc. to their contacts.
- We are thankful for the quality member care team Bruce leads and for the opportunity to serve on our global COVID-19 Response Team. Pray for wisdom and sensitivity as we come alongside our global workers during this season of uncertainty and increased stress.
- Our next Member Orientation (MO) for new appointees has been moved from June to August, but we are now in the process of designing an 8-week series of online meetings starting in June and leading up to MO to build community and start the onboarding process. Pray for creativity and wisdom as we work this month to design these times of connection and training.
- Bruce and Zach (our 21-year-old son) are finishing up their spring semester classes in the first full week of May (Bruce at Moody Theological Seminary and Zach at Trinity International University). Bruce starts his summer courses May 19 and Zach plans to do an internship in June and take a summer class in July. Pray for both to finish their term well and carry momentum into their summer learning opportunities. Pray that Zach's summer internship would work out in the midst of the current uncertainties of social distancing.
- Linda's 86-year-old mom lives on Long Island, NY along with Linda's sister. Her mom has been battling some chronic health issues that affect her ability to sleep and function. Please pray for continued protection from COVID-19 and that she would be able to get relief from her discomfort and be able to sleep.
We are praising God for our continued good health and opportunity to continue our work remotely from home. In the midst of uncertainty and challenge, God continues to demonstrate His great goodness and grace. Thank you for partnering with us in prayer!
This feels like a season of waiting. Waiting for the end of Shelter in Place orders and a return to in-person community. Here in Michigan, it has been a long wait for spring since we saw snowfall as recently as late April and still seeing overnight temps below freezing in early May! The world tends to wait with impatience, frustration, and even anxiety and this often shapes us too. But as believers who have confidence in a sovereign and loving Lord our waiting should look different. While the anxiety and frustration is still very real, our waiting should also reflect eager expectation (Ps 5:3; Rom 8:19), hope (Ps 33:20; 130:5), and patience (Ps 40:1; Hab 3:16; Rom 8:25; Heb 6:15; James 5:7). This is only possible as we ground our trust in the One who is our mighty fortress, refuge, and strength. May reflection on these Scriptures encourage our hearts and may we all find rest and peace in Him as we wait to see how his purposes will unfold in the days, weeks, and months ahead.