On the COVID-19 front, not much has changed here. Towards the beginning of June our state moved from Red to Orange which meant restaurants, cafes, hair salons, churches, etc. were able to open at a limited capacity. This was a nice step forward, but the number cases of the virus continue to go up so we worry that some of that forward progress will be lost. If you ask me what I think is going to happen in the next months, I’d say I have no idea. We pray it gets better, but know it could easily get worse.
With so much unknown, it obviously makes it difficult to plan anything and at times it is quite discouraging. How does one spread the Gospel without spreading the virus? How does one start outreach efforts when we are all supposed to be at home? At times, it is hard to know what the best way forward is.
With that being said, we’ve also had times of great encouragement by what God is doing and the opportunities he is opening for us. Let me tell you a bit about that:
The Food Parcels – With financial support from our sending churches, we were able to put together food parcels to give away to those who are struggling to make ends meet right now. A lot of people are without work due to the shutdown and we’ve seen an increase in the people coming to our door looking for help. We have been able to give away a few food parcels and hope to continue into the future.
The Gospel of John – Recently we bought some gospel of John booklets and to give to those coming to our door. Occasionally, we will also invite them in for a meal. For example, there was one young man who came to our door looking for work: clean the van, sweep the sidewalk. His one hand was lame (making it hard to get a job) and we found out that he came from a very broken home and doesn’t know many people in the city. After a meal, we gave him a food parcel, a Bible, and ride home. It is our prayer that we would be able to see him again. We are trying to the be the hands and feet of Christ, and we hope that this also leads to opportunities in which we can share the Gospel as well.
The Nanny – Some might question why we have a nanny. One reason is the ability to be a witness in our own home. Even when our Spanish was quite basic, our nanny, Renata, could see the way we lived. Now that our Spanish is improving, we, especially Annemarie, are able have deeper conversations about God, the Bible, and the gospel. We have given her a Bible and are encouraged that she is reading it and has questions! One question she had was why we don’t have images (of saints or Christ) in our home. We are very grateful for how God has given us this opportunity.
The Yoga Class – This past Friday I (Scott) went out for breakfast with the local yoga class. It all started when a month or so ago I met a guy in the park who was selling cheese. He was quite friendly and offered to help a bit with my Spanish. I’ve been doing some lessons with him in his home (he’s not really concerned about COVID) and recently met his roommate who is a dance and yoga instructor, trained in Ancient Arab ballet – or something like that. And he is a Wiccan. And interested in theology. And he leads the local yoga class, which includes the guy who sells the cheese. So that’s how I ended up going out for breakfast with the yoga class.
Those are a few examples of how God is giving us opportunities to witness to those around us. Our days may not be full of ministry busyness or exciting new projects, and there are discouraging days to be sure, but God keeps showing up and giving us what we need to keep going. We came here to be servants of Christ and we are able to do that even while COVID restricts our activities and topples our plans. Certain doors may have closed, but God still opens windows.