God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.
Therefore we will not fear… (Psalm 46:1-2)
Dear brothers and sisters, the emerging situation with the COVID-19 coronavirus and the many news reports around us are creating anxiety and worry for our well-being. In times like this, it is important to remember God’s promise to be with us. He who made us, and gave his own Son for the salvation of the world, will not leave his children in this time of need. Please join us in praying for those suffering from the coronavirus, those caring for the ill, those seeking a vaccine, and all others who serve in these times. Pray for those experiencing anxiety.
As pastors, teachers, parents…, God calls us to assist the well-being of his people, our students, our employees and our children; making wise decisions to support the health of those he has placed in our care. So, we have to take steps to minimize opportunities for the virus to spread. We consider this to be a reasonable way to carry out our mission while seeking to serve others. We seek to reduce opportunities for the virus to spread not only to protect ourselves, but also those close to us who may be at risk of more serious complications.
In this time of crisis, each of God’s people might ask themselves, “How, where and when is God calling me to serve?” There will be many tangible needs in our communities. Prior to this outbreak, loneliness and isolation is serious problems. As Christians, we have to consider how God might be calling each of us to listen to others or speak a comforting word, to help provide basic necessities to those who are lacking, or to share other blessings with those who are struggling. A phone call can be very encouraging to those who are isolated, those elderly person around us, those widows in need…, Even in times of social distancing, we can safely reach out in mercy and love, in consent with our local authorities and observing the measures of self-protection. God is calling his people to be a blessing and, most importantly, to provide hope to those who are fearful and hopeless.
Even though there are many inconveniences, challenges, and frustrations in this times of crisis, God grant us a spirit to see these as avenues of service to others. God is at work in each of us. He is our refuge and strength…therefore we will not fear.
Stay calm, stay home, stay safe. But remember that you are not alone, God is with you and loves you. So, fear not, instead, trust in the Lord, he has a good plan for you.
Your sister in Christ,
Rev. Albertine NYIRANEZA
President of Gitarama Presbytery
of the Presbyterian Church in Rwanda