New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie
Posted: 29 Mar 2020 05:58 PM PDT
On the first day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me…one mask required to shop at Bravo (one of Santiago’s grocery store chains). Nacional, where I usually go, is taking temperatures before letting people in. (I’m still going strong with what I stocked up on, so all of this is through social media or the grapevine!)
On the second day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me…two Netflix parties (Descendants 2 and Tangled).
On the fourth day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me…four fact sheets compiled by LAC’s two nurses, in conjunction with two other missionary nurses serving in Africa. They are fact-checking machines doing their best to make sure we don’t believe everything we hear or read.
On the fifth day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me…five chapters of Heidi Goehmann’s Casting Stones study completed with my Friday Play Group. Your LAC missionaries did know what Zoom was before this all started, and used it regularly, so little has changed about my weekly chat with six other missionary women, other than we’ve started spending basically the first half of our time together sharing the joys and struggles of these uncertain times we’re living.
On the sixth day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me…six feet of social distancing required at all times. Daily #coronastyle walks continue (and occasionally, #coronastyle happy hours), but it’s increasingly hard not to hug and love on the adorable missionary kids we encounter or stop by to visit!
On the seventh day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me…seven Pinterest recipes tried. #quarantinecuisine is a thing, y’all. Pictured is tonight’s dinner.
On the eighth day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me…eight hundreds of active COVID-19 cases in the DR (859, to be exact). And counting…
On the ninth day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me…nine short-term teams cancelled. This does not mean a) that the leaders or participants on said teams fall off the face of the planet; or b) that I’m bored! The other short-term team coordinators and I have been meeting more regularly than normal to tackle some timely projects, like a series of debrief emails for teams that experience a cancellation for whatever reason. The first acknowledges the sadness, anger, relief, and more that team members may be experiencing; reminds them that we’re feeling all of that, too; points out that they don’t have to travel internationally to serve their neighbor; and lets them know we’re praying for them. However, since I won’t be hosting any teams on the ground until at least July, I’ll be contributing to regional and DR-specific efforts in other ways by broadening the definition of volunteer. Those who “volunteer” their time and resources to support the Church’s work by attending biannual partnership meetings and making sacrificial gifts are equally critical in the body of Christ as those who form traditional volunteer mission teams. I’ll be assisting LAC’s Area Facilitators in transitioning upcoming partnership meetings to Zoom and drafting project write-ups that succinctly tell the story of God at work through my colleagues and I.
On the tenth day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me…ten LAC countries in which there are safe and healthy North American and alliance missionaries working diligently and creatively to keep members’ eyes fixed on Jesus. Our human care circle checks in with them and their families on a regular basis, making sure mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional needs are met.
On the eleventh day of sheltering in place, my true love gave to me…eleven hours we’re allowed to be outside our homes. As of Friday, the president of the DR bumped the start of curfew up from 8 pm to 5 pm. Essential business are closing at 3:30 to accommodate, since authorities can and will arrest those out past the hour.
On the twelfth day of sheltering in place (today!), my true love gave to me…twelve days of 10,000+ steps. Given that this doesn’t always happen on “normal” days, and that (I think) the botanical garden is closed again, this is saying something. Ever since getting mugged over two months ago, I’ve been intimidated to do much (OK, any) walking around the neighborhood alone. I’m not mad about not having to walk the dreaded half block to my office everyday, but the quiet streets with everyone avoiding one another have been therapeutic. This is the second morning I’ve gone for a solo morning run, and my apprehension at walking a few blocks to meet up with someone or pick someone up for a #coronastyle walk (see the sixth day) is diminishing.
Until next time, blessings!
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