We started the Fall semester at the Missionary Training Center in the middle of August with well-considered guidelines to keep everyone safe on campus. Students were encouraged to self-quarantine for two weeks before arriving. We did not have our usual all-campus gatherings to get to know the new students. Classes were, and continue to be, set up to keep everyone six feet apart, and those that could not attend class in person were, and still are, able to stream classes. Despite all these precautions, the virus hit our campus the beginning of October and many staff and students were ill to varying degrees. For two weeks everyone was encouraged to self-isolate at home, and public buildings on campus were closed, besides all the other precautions continuing. We praise the Lord that no one got severely sick and all have recovered.
For about a month, we worked from home and were able to keep up with various meetings and the work in which we are normally involved. Among a variety of responsibilities, this includes meeting with the students we are mentoring. Along with another staff couple, we continue to meet with a group of seven students (diminished from the 12 that started in the Fall 2019). We talk about what they are learning in classes, share struggles and joys together, and pass on to them our experiences of living and ministering overseas. Overall, the students are keeping a positive attitude, even amid extenuating circumstances and unknown futures.
We sure do appreciate your prayers for us and the training of missionary candidates during this time! In spite of the spike in cases around us, we are staying healthy and safe. Please let us know how we can be praying for you!
John & Melanie