As you may know, there has been a national endorsement from our President to reopen churches immediately. What does this mean for LifeWay? First and foremost, we have always considered church an essential business. Yes, we are in the business of reconciling people far from God through Jesus Christ His Son who paid the ultimate price to redeem humanity. This work of telling others about Jesus can never stop and will never stop! Even though we have not met corporately since Sunday March 15, LifeWay has never closed, because our work is essential in God's eyes. In fact, some of our most significant ministry has happened in the last three months. We are grateful for all the notes written, meals delivered, care calls made, encouraging texts sent, online prayer meetings, PK Church, LEAD times, Bible App Bible studies, LoveWay Journey trainings, online LifeGroups, and spontaneous acts of love and kindness to one another. I even have had the privilege to lead our dear friends in Haiti, Alix and Sandro, through remote pre-marital counseling. Nothing can ever stop the work of the church in the world!
Second of all, the safety and security of each one of you–seniors, youth, and children–is of the utmost importance. I personally have interacted with health workers in our church who have dealt with Covid 19 deaths of patients at nursing homes in Derry. The whole experience has been very traumatic. One of LifeWay's Pastoral Council members, pastor Mark Rivera, contracted the virus along with his wife. He clearly understands how fast this virus can debilitate and mess up your lungs. Thankfully, they are both recovering and out of danger.
Because of the unpredictability of new Covid 19 spikes as regulations loosen in MA and NH, and the value of each one of your lives, we will continue to 'meet' online for the rest of the month of May. We will be monitoring closely how events unfold in the coming weeks and bring another update by the end of this month. We hope by God's grace we will be able to see each other again physically at some point in the month of June. Our goal in prayer is that we can inaugurate our re-gathering soon with a safe-for-all outdoor worship celebration at Elwood Orchards. This is the location I pray the Lord would some day give us to establish our ministry work.
Grateful for all of you, your care and steadfast love for Jesus. To all our single moms, may God's Holy Spirit comfort you and keep you strong in the Lord for your children. Special thanks to all our health and public workers, and those who daily labor at grocery and retail stores to serve our community. You are our true heroes in this hour! We keep you all in our daily prayers.
"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." –James 1:2
Steadfast in Christ.