As countries and provinces declare states of emergency this week, we've seen big changes to our lives; school closures, business shut downs and layoffs. We learn about practicing social distancing, we stock up on nonperishables and hand sanitizer. We hunker down in our homes...with maybe our greatest fears being whether your family will survive all together under one roof or how you are going to become a homeschool parent for the first time.
My attention to my own life circumstances keeps me in the bubble of my own piece of the world, navigating life circumstances with my family. Yet, remembering how this pandemic is affecting the world around me, my friends who live in developing countries, leads me to pray more fervently for the different ways it is affecting them.
Here's some areas I've been praying about:
Developing countries will have less resources
It's just the truth of developing nations. Currently, our own local hospital has 1 ventilator. This virus causes acute respiratory illness that can require life support. This requires doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists who know how to use the equipment and manage this level of care. In contrast, developing countries may not have the resources to handle the vast number of cases that could come, and this can put people at risk.
Pray for peace among the missionaries who stay, that they continue to trust God with their lives and model that dependance on a good and sovereign God.
Missionary budgets don't plan for this
Raising support is always a challenge, even just to raise the regular amount of money for flights of a whole family, the housing costs and vehicles. The flights are a large expense, and most haven't raised the kind of funds needed for a "just in case" scenario (a pandemic wouldn't be on the normal list of possibilities).
Pray for missionaries to continue stewarding well the resources God has provided for them, and that He would continue to provide for their daily needs.
Some choose to stay
The airports are closing. By now, most who want to (or have been mandated to) leave have booked their tickets and have a plan to depart. However, there are those who will choose to stay. They will continue to share the Gospel in these trying times, to promote the health of their communities, care for the sick, and lovingly serve their neighbours. The dynamics of ministry are complex on the best of days, but in stressful times, needs shift and change, which can open up new doors for witness and willingness.
Pray for courage to love, protection as they serve, and anointed words to speak as they share hope and truth of the Word to a world in need.
As we continue to pray through this season, we remember that every day we have is a gift of grace from God, as Psalm 3:5 says, "I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me." We continue to pray for those serving in our communities and abroad, during this time of need.
Here's a short video clip by Prayercast, with a prayer for the nations in light of Covid, check it out here!!