The prophet Joel brought God's Word to his people in the middle of the devastation they faced due to a plague of locusts. He communicated a message of both judgment and hope. The plague they faced may have been bad, but he warned that worse judgment was yet to come. And yet, God promised to care for his people and give them good things even beyond imagining.
The plague we face today also carries a message of warning and hope. While I wouldn't want to claim that Covid-19 is the judgment of God on any specific sin, God may very well desire to use it to prompt us to evaluate our relationship with him. And he certainly wants us to find our only true hope in him, no matter what the circumstances around us might be.
Just like much of the world, Ecuador is taking small and gradual steps toward opening back up. This country has been hit very hard by the virus. The official statistics don't really tell the whole story. Here is an article that explains it well:
New York Times
Up to now most of the cases have been in Guayaquil where they are now seeing things stabilizing. Things have been better in Quito but the numbers are still rising. There is a lot of uncertainty about what lies ahead, but many people feel that the economy needs to re-open for now. The economic consequences have been huge, and the price is high, especially for lower-income families.
The impact of the crisis is being felt very strongly. As of yesterday 38 Quichua pastors have died as a result of the coronavirus. Of course, many more lay people, family members and unsaved neighbors and friends have become victims. Pray that all of God's people will speak truth into the tough situations around us. Pray for courage, boldness and trust.
Trip to the USYou might remember that Kristi had a shoulder replacement a year and a half ago because of arthritis. We have known that the other side would need to be done sooner or later. In January we realized it was becoming "sooner" since her pain has been affecting the mobility and performance of her right arm. We scheduled surgery in Wichita for June, but that has obviously been in doubt for several weeks. We are thankful that it looks like we will be able to move forward with those plans.
We will travel to the US on May 31, spend two weeks in quarantine, and prepare for surgery on June 23. Kristi will focus on recovery and rehabilitation through July. Then we hope to be able to return to Ecuador in August.
Kristi will continue to teach 4th grade at Alliance Academy via Zoom, and Lindsey will finish up her 9th grade year on June 12. They are looking forward to the summer break as it has been tough doing school online. Scott will probably find a mix between ministry in Ecuador, contacting supporters in the US and caring for the needs of the family.
FamilyHere's an update on our boys. David has been without a job since February but there is a promising opportunity that might come together soon. We're thankful that Shelby's job has continued.
Joel has been working and doing an internship at a church in LA to help with their children's ministry. That has been at a standstill with no church services, so the church has encouraged him to feel free to move on instead of staying through the summer. He is planning on joining us in Kansas for the summer and hopes to find painting work there.
Luke is working at a camp in Missouri this summer. This camp is for foster kids, so is considered an essential job this summer, even though most camps are not able to open. Pray for him to have opportunities to touch the lives of these boys.