As news reports multiply concerning COVID-19 (Coronavirus), as brothers and sisters in Christ I wanted to take a moment to share with you some thoughts and encouragements.
We have a God who Cares
First, it is normal for us to feel anxious in times like these. But it is important to remember what we do with our worries. God loves and cares for us, for He has told us “Do not fear for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). We can have courage when faced with the fear of the unknown, because we trust in an all-knowing God who has promised to be with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9) In times like these, we must cast all our anxieties on the Lord.
Demonstrating Love Through Wisdom
At Tearfund, we encourage you to love others by taking wise steps to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading. This includes following the recommendations made by health officials such as washing hands thoroughly with soap and water, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and avoiding touching eyes, mouth, and nose as much as possible. For the sake of those who are most vulnerable, consider staying home if you have recently traveled, elderly, or have underlying medical conditions.
Remembering the Poor
Lastly, like the Jerusalem council to the Apostle Paul, we urge you to continue to remember the poor (Galatians 2:10). Historically, Christians are often the first to rush in to help, and the last to leave when calamity occurs. This is because our hope is not in this world but the one to come, that life in Christ is eternal. The giving of our lives on earth reflects Christ himself.
As we speak, I am writing from Colombia, seeing first hand the incredible impact that local churches are having in the lives of thousands of Venezuela refugees. Our Director of church relationships, Don Miller, is currently in Ethiopia and I wanted to share with you what he said:
“We are seeing the poor and most vulnerable have new found hope as the church has reached out to their neighbours. The amazing transformation that is taking place in communities because the Church is being a catalyst for change astounds me!”
So let our minds not focus primarily on protecting and preventing ourselves from being infected. Instead, let us entrust our “souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19). We have seen so much incredible generosity of sharing from farmers and refugees living in poverty on our trips.
In times of crisis, the poor still remain. While buying emergency supplies for yourselves, please consider buying some for your local food banks – which are desperately running short of supplies.
God Bless you and your family,
Executive Director, Tearfund Canada
Download Print Version
- Pray for all those immediately affected by the virus. Those who are infected and those in quarantine. That God would restore their health and give them peace during this difficult time.
- Pray for all the vulnerable – the elderly, poor, immuno-compromised, and those living with disabilities. That they would not contract the virus, the God would keep them safe, and that they would have the provisions they need.
- Pray for all those in fear and panic. That God would give miraculous sense of calm, and that Christians can be examples of wisdom, hope, love, and compassion in this time.
- Pray for all the churches across Canada, that their leaders would make wise decisions, and that they would reach out into their communities to be lights of hope and love.
- Pray for all the charities and churches, that people would not forget to be generous in times of trouble and that God would provide.
- Pray for all the health officials and leaders in Canada, that they would have the wisdom and resolve to take the necessary steps to protect the population – especially the most vulnerable.
- Pray for the poor throughout the world, that God would be with them during this time and that they would get the care they need.
- Pray for courage, faith, and hope during this time. May you rest in the arms of the Lord, knowing He is our provider and our strength, an ever present help in times of trouble.