Greetings to you in the name of Christ, our risen and reigning Lord,
No matter where you find yourself, I pray that each of you are healthy and well during this unique time.
Just before the worldwide lockdown, I was on a quarantine of a different sort. A few weeks ago, I was in an airport catching a connecting flight back to Santiago and had an accident where I lost consciousness.
Upon hearing something was wrong, my missionary colleagues immediately assisted in getting me to the hospital thanks to a church partner in Florida where we have contacts.
While at the hospital I learned that, along with having an infection and a ruptured cyst, I sustained a traumatic brain injury. Because of my injury I have not been able to carry on with work at this time and am resting during this quarantine. I ask for your prayers that I may soon be able to return to the work God has called me to do. I am blessed it was not worse and I am glad to be doing slowly, but progressively better.
I am so very grateful to my team, family, and friends who have been integral in supporting my recovery. I also want to thank the folks in Florida at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Although we had never met before, I am so grateful to these people for not only driving several hours out of their way to bring me to the hospital, but also for welcoming me into their homes for a few days. What a blessing it is to have brothers and sisters in Christ all over the globe. I am appreciative of their kindness and service.
This is indeed a unique time in all of our lives and I pray that you do not lose hope during this pandemic. As Christians we are anchored to Christ. This is not a time for fear and worry, but it is a time for wisdom and discernment. We are told in 2 Timothy 1:7 that as God’s children we have not been given a spirit of fear. We still have hope, and even though the rest of the world may crumble we cling to the cross.
“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Although I am unable to work on my usual tasks, the missionaries, pastors, and seminarians in Latin America and around the world have all quickly adapted to the present circumstances. The work continues, and although different in format, we remain Biblically focused. We will share the beauty of the Gospel, pray with and for people, call out to God for His mercy and wisdom, and seek to be a light of hope in a harbor of confusion.
I ask for your prayers for all of the missionaries who remain on the field during this time. Many of the countries in which they live do not have the medical care that we in the US are accustomed to.
The economic struggle by individuals around the world will be great, and our countries in Latin America may feel this strongly. Many struggled even before the pandemic to provide daily necessities to their families. The need is even greater now as people are unable to work and mandatory quarantines and curfews are being enforced across countries.
"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
This is a time where we can be beacons to our neighbors and remind them that all hope is not lost. Let us take this time of Holy Week to cast our burdens on Him as it is only through God’s grace and love that we will endure. During this time of concern, we as Christians prepare our hearts to joyfully celebrate His resurrection at Easter. We will likely be celebrating in a different fashion than we might normally, but we take heart in knowing that He died and rose for the whole world.
Thank you to so many for prayers and comforting words during my recovery. I would also ask that you please pray for health care professionals, including my twin sister Gretchen, who is a PA in the emergency department in Washington state.
Have a blessed Holy Week and an Easter filled with hope.
In sincere prayer,