On April 12, the first COVID-19 death occurred. Now, there appears to be eleven confirmed cases in the country (as of April 21). Of course, testing is limited so there are likely many more cases. Only 20 ventilators are in the entire country and very limited hospital bed space. Social distancing will be very difficult for one of the most densely populated countries in the world (11 million in a country the size of Maryland). The viral spread comes at an especially difficult time with the country gearing up for national elections.
Chapel Partners: Harvest Initiatives (ministering to Chapel-adopted village of Bugenyuzi) and Kickoff to Hope.
For a report directly from the field, please see this video:
After 3-weeks of national shut-down, Prime Minister Modi called for another 3-week quarantine of 1.3 billion people. For the great majority, such a mandate will be impossible to obey. Ministries in India, with which The Chapel has connections, want to honor the mandates and wishes of the government. They also desire to be the hands and feet and voice of Jesus especially among the many migrants who are among the most vulnerable. Pray for wisdom as they seek to meet physical and spiritual needs.
Some say the United States is about one week ahead of Mexico. A mandate of social distancing will be extremely difficult for the smaller churches who love to congregate. However, as one partner mentioned, “The one silver lining is everyone’s mind is on eternity and the Lord right now. Several years ago, during the Swine flu epidemic, we saw a lot of people come to the Lord…so our pastors are busy sharing Christ.” Chapel Partners: Valerie and Nicasio Martinez doing Bible translation…and Roger Tomlinson with Dayspring Outreach Ministries.
Warren Janzen leads a missionary-sending agency called SEND. The ministry focus is to send Christ-followers into some of the most unreached places on earth.,,, 510 workers in 21 countries from 13 different passport countries. All efforts have been impacted. In Warren’s words: “The amazing part is that SEND was birthed out of global crisis - WWII. I am looking with faith to what God will birth out of this global crisis!” Warren adds, “Pray also for our leadership teams as we consider how we will need to modify or even re-invent ways to do cross-cultural ministry once we understand what the new normal is going to look like on the other side of this Covid crisis.
Chapel Partners: Warren and Dorothy Janzen, SEND International.
Never has clean water been more important. Filter of Hope’s ministry in Cuba is going full speed. Besides the normal precautions for COVID-19, and the appropriate seriousness for those effected, the Santees and Filter of Hope are spilling over with energy and enthusiasm for helping people give clean drinking water and Jesus to families who are thirsty for both. Chapel Partners: Scott and Lisa Santee with Filter of Hope.
Doyle Klaassen, a long-time Chapel supported missionary, was declined travel to Germany to teach at Bibelschule Brake.
Alena Serrano, a Chapel young adult, was forced to return from New Zealand where she was being trained in global outreach by Youth With A Mission (YWAM).
Bill and Darlene Schroeder, love doing missionary care ministry with SEND International, but they had to postpone indefinitely their Spring travel plans.