First of all, we are safe and healthy, Praise the Lord! All of our colleagues are also safe and healthy. Some of them have been relocated temporarily but many have chosen to stay and be light in the darkness of this epidemic. It has affected our daily routines a bit, but overall, we don't notice much difference. We are choosing not to go where there are large groups, we try not to use the bus or train at peak hours when it's very crowded, we wash our hands and use sanitizer all the time, and we get our temperatures scanned on average 3-5 times per day. All 6 of us now have our own QR codes that we use to check-in at church for the purposes of contact tracing. We have had many activities canceled including my parent's trip to visit us, and we have a hard time getting grocery delivery and toilet paper. There is definitely a spirit of fear that pervades peoples' minds. It has been a great time for the church to rise up and explain why, though we are pressed on every side by troubles, we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. (1 Cor 4:8).
Amidst the changes to our lives from Covid-19, we also have had another BIG change at our house. The girls are attending school for the first time!! It is something we've been praying about and seeking wise counsel about for a few months. Basically, due to their adoption of trauma and regular teenage issues, it has been increasingly difficult for them to separate mom as the teacher and mom as a parent. It was causing both relationships to suffer greatly. So, upon the advice of their counselors and the leading of the Lord, we enrolled them in a small Christian school that uses the ACE curriculum. They enjoy most aspects of it so far, except getting up early!
The boys are continuing their Abeka Academy online at home. I'm volunteering 3 days a week from 8:30-1:30p to help offset the cost of tuition. It has been a big adjustment for all of us!!
Covid-19 has kept me very busy! I am really learning a lot. Going from the front lines of caring for people to advising our global leadership and local leaders on how to best plan and care for our members has been very exhausting. Getting questions as to what should we prepare for, should we go back into the Big C, should we return to our home country, how long will this last, do we need to be quarantined, when should we wear masks and so many others. Praise the Lord I don't do this job on my own. I am so grateful to report that so far none of our members have contracted the virus, which is only by the grace of God.
We have also been writing weekly updates for our colleagues about the viral spread, general health recommendations for them, and what they should have available as they prepare for possible restrictions in movement.
A lot of people have been asking where is God, and why is this happening. I don't know the answer to that, but I have been hearing some amazing stories from areas hit hard where followers of Christ have been able to share and spend time with each other praying and witnessing because everything is closed down. The following is a story from one of our colleagues. "C has had opportunities to pray for her fellow colleagues who are scared and depressed because of being quarantined. I have had the opportunity to do several live online fitness workouts with locals all over the country. Plus after each workout we do, I am able to pray a blessing for them. How cool is that? God is so good."
That really is the message God is so good. I was reading John Piper's article, "How do we make sense of coronavirus." It is really spot on when he talks about how we will suffer, but the sting of death is gone. We have a hope that the rest of the world doesn't have. If you are reading this and want to know more about this hope please let me know, I would be happy to share it with you.
We just finished another OC and our new members went to many different countries. We sent 4 colleagues to Hokkaido, Japan which happens to be one of the highest rate of Covid 19 spread. Please pray for these workers and others as they step into the front lines and share the peace of God that passes all understanding. I believe that God could use this to really open up hearts to Him. I leave you with this passage, " Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7