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“We can plan ahead in our hearts, but God directs our steps”, so true in today’s uncharted waters. We have concluded that returning to PNG this year is not on our Agenda. We are trying to maintain contact with brothers and sisters through PNG & Thailand to encourage through difficult & uncertain times. Please pray for us as we accept and understand God’s will.
We have news from our colleague Dr Serge in Lubumbashi indicating that COVID-19 cases are starting to arrive at hospitals in the city. Lockdown in Congo has little or no ability to create social distancing. With the majority of the Congo population living from day to day in the process of procuring food there is no way they can exercise the privilege of the NZ model of shutdown. The truth is the death toll is still low due to the fact that Congo's aged population is small by western levels. Please pray for the assembly’s mission hospitals and staff as they are in the most dangerous position as cases come in.
From 1 st June schools and stores and restricted gatherings are resuming daily routines cautiously. Albeit, under the shadow of the 2 nd wave down in Kita Kyushu, causing shutdowns there. National summer sports events and festivals remain cancelled. We all are made more aware of the need to encourage and love one another, and to pray for one another.
We are suffering from a tropical storm which is causing havoc. Houses are lost as the rivers rise and fifteen have died already. In Ateos the river took out a railway bridge. Thankfully, the level of water has gone down today although some homes are flooded. We are in our 13th week of lock-down. We have permission to leave our homes twice a week, but we must stay in the same area. Many have lost their jobs. It is particularly difficult for those who live day to day. I am very thankful to the Lord for those who help me with getting groceries and paying bills. I have asked them to take care of the Christians as well as the neighbours and children from the Bible classes in the different areas. We are excited with the idea to help our young people and older children by paying for their internet for the month as they are all studying online. It is a good way to share the love of Christ with them. Some have received help to plant their crops of corn. Many are suffering from fear and anxiety, so it is good to be able to share with them. Thank you for your prayers. We pray that the Lord will guide us to continue to make wise decisions.
Pray as Murray zoom-teaches a course on the poetic parts of the Bible (Psalms, Proverbs, Prophets, Job, etc.) for all of June. Pray for his very well-qualified assistant teacher (a 49-year-old Middle Eastern man) – that he will learn how to teach such a course. Pray the technology will work well. Each of the students (Bible translators from 15 different countries around the world) have spent the last five months learning Hebrew full-time so that they can get ready for this course! Pray that they will gain good skills as they study some of the Bible’s hardest texts.