The arrival of COVID presented the church with several challenges. First and foremost, we are dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial hardship of those who lost health, loved ones, or their jobs. However, the church is no stranger to suffering.
But something new caught the church off guard with the coming of the social isolation norms. How do you meet as a church and evangelize when you cannot be physically present? So, in the spirit of Paul’s long-distance ministry through letters, we have been learning new computer skills and purchasing equipment to minister online to our neighbors.
This means offering the worship service live through YouTube and Facebook for those the government prohibits from attending the church building. Involved in this is recording classes for online School of the Bible courses. Plus, this means scheduling meetings through Zoom to study the Bible.
After in-person classes were prohibited, some of our School of the Bible students were able to keep in touch with their professors. An example is Diego and his family. They began studying at the School of the Bible in 2017. Diego and his wife began attending Bible courses and shortly after started bringing their twin daughters, Lara and Luana, to learn English in our English Bible courses. They got to know the church and were interested in learning more.
When the pandemic hit, his family started meeting online for Bible studies with Rodrigo, one of our School of the Bible teachers. Diego asked what was required to attend our church services. Rodrigo answered: “just come and sit, just like everyone else.” After a while, the conversations deepened, and Diego’s family started asking a new question: “What is required to follow Jesus?” After more Bible studies, Diego and his family decided to be immersed into a commitment with Christ.
Amid all the suffering and uncertainty around us, it was a moment of celebration and assurance that our hope lies in Eternity.