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In the words of our Sainted Lutheran hymn writer, Paul Gerhardt:
“Why should cross and trial grieve me?
Christ is near With His cheer;
Never will He leave me.
Who can rob me of the heaven
That God’s Son For me won
When His life was given?” LSB 756
Through the love of God, our Savior, all will be well. I cannot help but to imagine what you guys are going through. Considering the news and statistics we receive from the media concerning COVID-19, the Coronavirus devastation on U.S soil. Be rest assured you are in our prayers! Please pray for us, also. Though it has not shown its ugly face as it has done in the States, we worry much in Africa, knowing that the medical facilities and medical personnel are not even available. In addition, most people here have to go out to the market daily to get their food because there is no way to preserve food as a result of our power irregularities. In truth, the Seminary and its community is no exception.
In any event, JEM Lutheran Seminary is still having its regular classes/studies. All the students, both married and unmarried, reside on campus and generally no one is coming in and going out from the outside except our visiting professor from CTSFW, the Rev’d Dr. John Nordling, who is stuck with us. He is stuck with us because all land, sea and air, routes in and out of our state are closed. We cannot travel out or into other states, only within our state. As a result, we find it difficult to even transport ourselves (the Rev’d. Dr. John Nordling and myself) to Lagos to enable us to join the chartered aircraft provided by the U.S. Embassy. So please pray for us! The Archbishop has made several attempts, even an attempt of chartering an aircraft to Lagos, but was told that would mean Lagos airport would have to call back its staff, etc., with the approval by the Federal Minister of Aviation, which will not happen. This is a Catch-22 situation.
On the whole, though we pass through tribulation, we know Christ has possessed full salvation for us and we expect a bright tomorrow. Relying on the Father’s love, all must be well.
We are not sure how JEM Lutheran Seminary Palm Sunday will look like this year, but one thing is guaranteed, the usual six to seven hours evangelical parade that we walk will not be possible as we have a student body number of close to 80. Our Holy Week will no doubt also look different than in the past years while I have been here as Career Missionary.
Pray for the Lord’s outstretched Hand to shield us in Africa from any eventuality, as many people will die of starvation, and even the seminary would not be spared if a near factor of what is happening in the United States should show its ugly face here.
Beloved, fear not! Our Lord’s Healing Hand is free and changeless, precious is His Blood, and perfect is His Grace to us. May He continue to stretch forth His Strong Hand to shield you and all of your loved ones, now and forevermore. Amen!
1 Tim 1:15.