For the second time in my missionary career, I find myself stuck in Illinois, unable to return to the people I serve.
Six years ago, the Ebola epidemic prevented our return to Liberia.
And we waited, four long months, until International Ministries reassigned us to Hungary.
My mother-in-law just found an old journal we published during that time. It was heart-breaking to read and relive the frustration I felt back then.
And now, four months into the COVID quarantine, we wait again.
What does a refugee worker and firewood distributor do in quarantine?
Wait. Pray. Do yard work. Cook for the family. Read the news.
Two days ago there was a riot in the Serbian capital of Belgrade, where I’ve worked in refugee soup kitchens. The rioters weren’t refugees but locals, angry because the government announced they will reimpose strict curfews and rules for combatting their resurgence of COVID.
Every day I can read about refugee camps still swollen with “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” (read the inscription on the Statue of Liberty). All across Europe and the Middle East people are still seeking refuge from war and poverty, and now with COVID they are in even more danger, and even less wanted.
Christian brothers and sisters, please pray for me. Pray that Europe reopens its borders with the US and allows us to return in August. Pray that the girls’ passports—that we applied for months ago—will be ready. Pray for the Hungarian schools, planning to reopen in September. Pray for Serbia, suffering through this crisis without aid from the European Union. Pray for the refugees in camps without sanitation and the ability to social distance and receive quality medical care when needed.
We are thankful. We are grateful to Rebecca’s mom who has taken us in, yet again. We’re thankful for the churches and individuals who faithfully fulfill their pledges to International Ministries. We are thankful for your prayers for us and for those we long to return to, those who still need our caring touch. Thank you.
And we remain confident that the God who called us to service, the God who created the heavens and the earth is still on His throne, in control, still lovingly caring for us and this world. Even when it doesn’t look like it, His kingdom is both here and coming.