The Virus that Shook the World
COVID-19. The whole world is talking about it. Everyone is concerned. Everyone’s routines and lives are being disrupted. People are dying.
We pray that each of you is safe and healthy whether you are sheltering at home, or heading out to work or shop.
The Morning that Changed Everything
But the coronavirus, as bad as it may be, is not the world’s greatest problem. Many will never be infected. Many will survive. But sin affects everyone, and has a 100% death rate.
This weekend, on Easter Sunday Christians will celebrate and remember not just our Lord’s death for us, but his resurrection. When he walked out of that empty tomb, he changed everything forever! And he made salvation and eternal life possible to all who believe. There is no vaccine for sin, but there is a cure, and his name is Jesus.
Missionaries and COVID-19
People have been asking us how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting missionaries. What about those who are scattered across the globe sharing the message of the cure to sin and death?
Let us tell you what some of our missionary friends are experiencing. Then we’ll give you an update on us and our family.
Some missionaries are choosing to stay in their ministry countries. Missionaries that we trained are hunkered down in Peru, Chad, the Middle East, and all over Asia. Many are locked down in different situations. Some are being blamed for bringing the virus and even face threats of violence.
Others have been evacuated by their mission agencies–or forced to leave by local governments. Some had to change tickets and plans multiple times in the course of a few weeks, and barely slipped out of the country before international flights were stopped. They, like all the rest of us, are now under quarantine somewhere, wondering when and how, and if this will all return to normal.
One couple that Bill trained at Radius had just gotten to Asia and had barely started learning language in Asia when they suddenly had to return to the USA. But they are continuing language study as best they can over WhatsApp and Skype!
Bill and Donna Busy Indoors
What about us? Well, we’re hunkered down in our house, thankful for a nice yard to stretch our legs, thankful for phones, email and online church, and thankful for a well-stocked pantry (Bill was even able to buy TP at Costco today!) We’re working from home, which is pretty normal for us. But it’s weird to not be able to go out, and it’s hard to limit time with friends and our grandkids.
Donna’s been sick for about a week. But she tested negative for conoravirus, praise the Lord, and she is on the mend from what turned out to be an “ordinary” upper respiratory infection.
Bill’s ministry is moving ahead and he’s busier than ever!
Managing his team as they work on missionary training materials for language and culture acquisition (CLA) is really picking up pace. The mobile app is being developed and Bill is quite involved in guiding the programmers and testing the app. He’s working hard to stay ahead of them as they are making great progress.
A weekend consultant trip to Bakersfield for Bill to help missionaries learning Punjabi has been switched to a 4-day video conference call… that’s a first!
Bill’s trip to Missouri in May to get a new team member started on the culture/language project will likely switch to online interaction, as well.
Lord willing, an international forum of our missionaries to be held in Thailand in November will not have to be cancelled. Bill is planning a two-day training there for about 60 leaders and CLA consultants, and will demonstrate the new mobile app and CLA program at that time. We’re excited to see it launched!
In the past week, Bill had a one-hour phone call followed by a 90-minute Zoom conference with six Asian American college students in Los Angeles. They all attend one of our supporting churches, and these students are all interested in finding their role in reaching Unreached People Groups! They wanted to pick Bill’s brain, and they filled all those hours with tons of great questions. These conference calls may become a regular thing, at least until we can travel freely and get back to meeting face-to-face.
Our Family… and You
Our daughter Bethy is still working (Habitat for Humanity in Los Angeles). She’s working from home, but that’s not easy with Elias, an active 4-year-old, under foot since his preschool closed. We’ll go back to helping her once in a while once Donna’s fully recovered. Meanwhile, we read stories to Elias in a video chat and had quite the conversation with him this morning.
Elisa is homeschooling her two kiddos, as always, and Chris is able to work from home. We’re thanking that our kids’ jobs are considered “essential” and they are able to keep working during this time of turmoil! But it’s hard to start isolated from each other. We read stories to Max and Myri in video chat on Tuesday, and a week ago, we all had Myri’s 9th birthday party via a Zoom meeting, playing games, watching her open gifts, and watching each other eat cake in our respective homes!
And you… how are you doing through all of this? Let us know how we can pray for you. We’re thankful that God is in control and sovereign over all of this.
And we are especially thankful for each of you as you partner with us to reach the Unreached. We feel very blessed.
We have the cure! Let’s keep sharing it until our savior who walked out of that tomb returns