A response to the threat of CORVID-19 - written by Colette Meyer. [No audio available.]
An update: Our president, President Cyril Ramaphosa has just addressed the nation over the outbreak of covid-19. Schools will be closed from Wednesday the 18th March. There will be no gatherings of over 100 people. We will be strategising how best to "be the church" and meet as a church in the coming weeks. Please read the below article on how best to handle ourselves during this time. Keep an eye on our social media as we'll keep posting updates as we know more.
God is good, He is faithful and He is present!
We love you all and more importantly Jesus loves you!
Yours in His grip,
Craig and Colette
Earlier this evening (Sunday 15th March 2020) Grace Cov Church sent out an email with the following message:
We want you to know that you are in safe hands at Grace Cov Church!
We are monitoring the situation and have increased our hygiene to include wiping down of all chairs and toys. Hand sanitisers will be available at all entrances. If you were at church this morning, you would have learnt new ways to greet each other!
We continue to meet together but should anything change we have plans in place to adjust the way we do church in this season.
Keep an eye on our social media and check that the office has your correct details so that we can keep you updated. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your details.
Our leaders are also available should you need extra prayer or support.
Psalms 46:1-3 TPT
God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge!
You’re a proven help in time of trouble—
more than enough and always available whenever I need you.
So we will never fear
even if every structure of support were to crumble away.
We will not fear even when the earth quakes and shakes,
moving mountains and casting them into the sea.
For the raging roar of stormy winds and crashing waves
cannot erode our faith in you.
Pause in his presence
I’m home. It is a bright Sunday morning. The sun is shining, the birds are tweeting, and across the city my beautiful local church is singing. Praising God for His goodness, faithfulness and everlasting presence.
This morning, the distant shadows of CORVID-19 have rested on our household, not as you would expect with a scratchy throat or high fever but rather in a cancelled flight. The elders in our church, Craig and Wawa were due to leave for Australia via Dubai in a few hours (at the time of writing) for a gathering in Adelaide with other Elders from around the globe. Unfortunately this had to be postponed due to travel restrictions being applied as of midnight tonight by the Australian government in an effort to contain this quickly spreading virus.
So I’m home. Missing my church family and the encouraging strength we give to each other when we are together. Waiting for a call back from Emirates so that we can cancel an already checked in flight. Flying on a jet plane - sadly not today!
I’m missing my church family today, and the encouraging strength we give to each other when we are together. Sunday mornings in a preachers house might look a little different to yours… Craig will have been up for hours, praying and preparing, followed by the mad dash out the door with coffee in hand. We arrive at church to many a smile, hug and handshake. It is loud, it is diverse, it is messy, it is delightful. This crazy gathering of different people from different tribes should not work as well as it does, but it does because of the ONE who unites us - Jesus!
And so today, as I find unexpected moments of quiet in my day, I want to encourage you in the midst of a world turned upside down by a threat of an epidemic. Look to Jesus!
No matter where you find yourself, let Jesus be your constant. As I contemplate His life on earth, He was always calm in a crisis, be it the pressure of feeding a crowd with no supplies or arrested by soldiers, He was calm and brought calm. (You can read accounts of Jesus’ life in John or the gospels.) Today, and in the weeks to follow, be the peace bringer in an unstable world.
I’ve thought of a few Do’s and Don’ts that may be helpful during this season:
Panic. Fear is spreading faster than any virus. Stay calm and don’t give in to the hype. I especially loved a post I saw on Dr. Caroline Leaf’s instagram, “Viruses are contagious, so is panic, fear, hysteria, calm, love, enthusiasm, kindness, joy. Choose wisely.” See link here.
Follow or share UNOFFICIAL stories. I’m sure like me, you’ve already seen much on your social media feeds and even been forwarded a youtube video (or ten!) with intensifying reports of the corvina virus. Please remember that just because you find something on a Google search doesn’t mean it’s true. Stay informed and act accordingly but don’t spread news (and fear) you can’t verify. You’re only adding to the panic if you do.
Pray! Pray! Pray! Our world is facing a crisis. Pray for God’s hope and healing to flood our lands. Pray for those in government to make the right choices for our safety. Pray for our health workers and carers. Pray for those who have tested positive, the world over, remember the person and don’t just study the statistics. Pray for comfort and healing for the families and loved ones of those who have passed.
Stay informed (using a reliable source!) and act accordingly.
Be proactive with your health and the health of others. Here’s some advice from the World Health Organization: https://youtu.be/bPITHEiFWLc
Be kind. Reach out and steady those around you that are vulnerable and need to take extra care such as the elderly or those with low immunities, even those who struggle with anxiety and fear. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to spread God’s love and light and especially His peace during this time.
Use the Word of God as your benchmark. The Bible is full of wisdom in how to respond in times of fear and trial. Lean into the words and life of God’s inspired word.
Use the gift of time wisely. Who knows what the coming weeks will bring? Should you find yourself restricted to your home in the future together with your family. Enjoy this rare gift. Laugh, talk and play together. Don’t stress, decompress!
STRUGGLING WITH FEAR OR WITH NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO IN THIS TIME OF CONFUSION?
Saturate yourself with scripture. Here are a few that I’ve handpicked to give you courage and perspective…
All scriptures are quoted from The Passion Translation unless stated.