A lot is happening around the world and in our own necks of the wood. Everybody must be in quarantine but not everybody is. First responders are still in their line of duty and risking their lives while at it. Others are simply disobeying the guidelines and putting everybody else at risk during this mandated quarantine to flatten the curve.
COVID-19 has wrecked havoc around the world with a virus that to-date has infected more than a million and a half people, caused more than 90k deaths, and from which almost 350k people has been recovered. These numbers change constantly and there are different sites to keep up with them. Of course, social media has them front and center, at times accurately and others irresponsibly.
With the spread of this virus, all of humanity has had to take this time of Lent and Holy Week seriously and go back home with loved ones. Yet, there are elders and others by themselves. There are introverts that have had to come out of their shells to take care of 24/7 needs at home while the extroverts are dealing with social distancing and missing their hugs and kisses; at times even at home with their loved ones until everybody has been able to rule out being infected (the 14-days’ rule). It has definitely not been easy for anyone, us included! And this is only the beginning…
Our mission society asked each global servant to assess whether staying in the country of service was safe and contingency plans have been prepared for each unit and the families. Some have returned to the USA. Some have stayed where they were. We had already returned to the USA last August and continued our ministry to Colombia from here so it was a matter of having our older children get home and continue their studies through online classes (the older two) and homeschooling (the younger one). Even in that we see God’s care for our family while we continue caring for our partners and beloved in Colombia though we are not physically there.
Because of the unknown end date of this pandemic, plans have changed in many areas. Work, travel, classes, graduations, health care, etc., timelines affected by the imperative need to be in quarantine to flatten the curve. Our mission society has not been left untouched in the effect of COVID-19. The Spring Monthly Giving Match has been postponed being sensitive to the fact that everyone is adjusting to this COVID-19 new reality. Our World Mission Conference and Hear the Call events scheduled for July 2020 in Green Lake, Wisconsin, have been cancelled; a prayerful, wise, and safe course of action.
And in between the giving match and the July events, there is Holy Week! Like many schools have moved their classes to the online format, many churches have already moved their services to the online format (even those who didn’t have it in the past!). Some via FB Live, others via WhatsApp, others via free conference calls, you name it and the option is being used! We can rejoice with the fact that this situation has prompted many to realize that the church is the people and technology is enabling us to stay connected while respecting social distancing rules. So, this Holy Week, we are all experiencing it in a very different way than ever before…
Something that has not and will not change is that Holy Week is our opportunity to shout to the fullest of our lungs the hope we have in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ! There is no coronavirus that can prevent us from being bold amidst this pandemic that, beyond all the sadness and heartache each of the 90k plus deaths provoke in the hearts of the relatives and loved ones, we have hope in Christ who came as a human being, lived amongst us, gave His life out of love for you and me, and ROSE FROM THE DEAD defeating death once and for all… He even left account in His Word and His Spirit for all to have access to this good news! How can we not rejoice this Holy Week in celebrating this absolute truth even if we cannot meet in any sanctuary other than the sanctuary of our homes and our hearts?!?
We are not being insensitive to the patients and relatives of those who have died in Colombia, Nicaragua, Spain, Chile, the USA, Puerto Rico, or Israel (places where we have lived and served). For each of those patients and relatives we continue to pray. While praying for those who are at risk of dying as a result of the COVID-19, our commitment to continue our ministry of discipleship and Bible study is renewed and strengthened. Because in the end we are all at risk of dying as a result of sin and need to know and respond to the only option there is to have eternal life in and with Christ!
For almost 20 years we have been serving and moving from one place to the next as moved by the Spirit and needed in each of the countries where we have been. In the midst of each move we have continued learning and developing the materials and now we have the opportunity to really focus our attention to get it as close to the finish line as we can during this quarantine. So, here are our two requests:
* Please continue to pray for us and continue your ongoing financial support during this time of completing the development of this materials so we can really focus, be inspired, and effective in our writing/editing/translating.
* Please forgive us for not being too active in social media or regular communications while we focus in the task at hand. Think of us as hibernating during quarantine, except hibernating is to sleep through a season and we are definitely not sleeping this one out!
Part of our disciplines of discipleship are the studying of the Word. To study the Word the first step is to read it. For almost 10 years now, we have been using YouVersion to read through the Bible in a year (with their different reading plan options) and this 2020 we ventured with a 90-day reading plan. Having finished the plan already, we are once again reminded of the end of His Story! (Rev. 22.20-21) Jesus promise is: “Yes, I am coming soon.” And we say: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” The grace of the Lord Jesus is with everyone!!!
With such promise in mind, do not let COVID-19 fool you this Holy Week and thereafter. Be of good cheer and know that there is hope and He is coming soon, whenever He chooses that soon to be! As you and us #StayHome (if we’re able, we know there are many who cannot), let us continue to pray, read and study His Word, encourage one another (especially those who are alone at home), and remember that this too shall pass and we have been given the opportunity to share good news to those around us who feel hopeless and in despair.
We love you and keep you in our prayers!
Sending COVID-19-free hugs to one and all while pressing toward the goal,
Your BGs Et Al – Colombia