EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES TO TRANSFORM HEALTH AND WELLNESS
MARCH 2020 UPDATE
KRISTY ENGEL, RN, MSN, CPNP GLOBAL CONSULTANT FOR HEALTH
“Wash your hands…”
How life has changed with COVID-19
I am very sure that your life looks different than it did when you received my last update in January of this year. Although many of us were aware of SARS-CoV-2 (then known as novel coronavirus), most of the world, outside of China, didn’t know how drastically life would change.
First, let me say that I am fine and in my own home. Since returning from the 2-month Discovery trip (called, Hands Around the World), I have had all of my spring travel cancelled for various reasons. Most was due to natural disasters although the most recent travel itineraries have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Since I am unable to travel, my work has changed to completely online. This means that my support of ministries around the world happens on Zoom, WhatsApp, Messenger and through emails or phone calls. I have been helping to advise our partners and my colleagues around the world. And, very soon, I will hold a webinar to answer questions for supporters and colleagues, alike.
Socially connected with physical distancing
I heard the above phrase earlier today in a webinar on mental health issues related to COVID-19. We have all been hearing the phrase, “social distancing,” but they urged us to stay socially connected while maintaining physical distance, and I thought that was an important distinction.
A lot of people are asking this question and in particular, global servants (missionaries) with International Ministries and their supporters.
How will we be able to do our work if we are not in the field?
What happens to partner relationships?
Will funding needs be met considering the economic impact of COVID-19?
These are all really important questions and if you’ve asked yourself at least one of them, you are not alone. All of us within International Ministries have had to consider the impact of leaving international sites and the inability to visit donors and churches in the interim.
This is what I know right now: I will continue to help partners around the world through engaging in online communication and through phone calls. I am preparing a webinar that will be made available to many people at different times and I am working on a resource list that communities can use to stay safe. I have reached out to several locations around the world to find out how I can help virtually
The simple answer is that work has not stopped and we are all making adjustments to continue support.
As new projects begin or opportunities to share learning, I will let you know. I may also call on several of you to help me develop training tools so I hope I continue to have your support!
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Here is a list of ways you can help TODAY:
1. Pray specifically for the ministries you are supporting
2. Begin praying for the health care workers around the world (including the USA) that are on the frontlines.
3. Continue your financial support of ministries and communicate your need to reduce giving, if that applies.
4. Begin supporting a new ministry with even just $5 on a monthly basis or more if you are able.
5. Stay informed about urgent needs.
I understand that today’s situation is overwhelming and there is an enormous amount of information coming at you all day. Please don’t lose hope and please continue to rest in the understanding that God remains in control.
In this time of isolation and reduced physical contact, finding new ways to live in community is important.
Please reach out and let me know how I can help. As I said earlier in this note, I plan on having some resources available for the public and will update those as we learn more. You can always follow me on Facebook (where I post more regularly these days) and seek out the World Health Organization‘s information on how to stay safe.
Thank you, so much, for continuing to encourage me and this ministry through your cards, emails, posts and financial support. This year I celebrate 20 YEARS with International Ministries and it is because of you that I can continue.
Many, many blessings to you!
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On earth as it is in heaven
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.