Saliba Update July 2020
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THANKS FOR PRAYING
Last time we wrote, the quarantine was just getting started here in Colombia. Starting out, our neighborhood was said to have had the most cases of coronavirus in Colombia. We asked you to pray for that situation, and God answered your prayers. We now are one of only five neighborhoods in the city not under very strict quarantine because of our lower rate of infections. But, please continue to pray for the city. The ICUs continue to hover around 90% capacity, so we need the virus to slow down a bit.
20 WEEKS OF QUARANTINE
This Sunday will be our 20th Sunday of holding all church activities online. Yet, despite all the restrictions, the church is thriving. Our online attendance has been very stable. Every week it seems like we have a few visitors. Many of our church members are consistently inviting friends. We are running Facebook ads to connect with complete strangers. That has driven almost 8,000 people to our church website. We’ve even seen salvations because of people watching the services online, and then talking to the friend who invited them. We might be in quarantine, but the Holy Spirit is not. He is active and working in this city. That’s something that, when everything else is uncertain, we can be sure of.
We have also been buying groceries for families who are struggling to eat. We’re using the church building to host free medical clinics on Mondays, and to pack and distribute food and toiletries that come in from humanitarian organizations.
So far, no one from our church as permanently lost a job. Many have had their pay reduced, but it has been really amazing to see God continue to provide for his church when the world around us is falling apart. And, no one we know has contracted the virus.
ON THE PERSONAL SIDE
We are doing well too. Anna continues to homeschool our girls, so her routine is similar to before. Jonathan went through the rush of stocking up on food and essentials, getting the church all online, and then the monotony of doing everything on a computer, including a few weeks of depression and frustration with the situation. In the end, I think we’ve all come to realize that God is with us through all of this. We’re starting to realize we can see Him working more clearly now than ever.
We also keep thinking that we could do most of what we are doing from the United States and be able to be with our families at the same time. However, if we leave Colombia we can’t come back in, at least for now. But, even more than that, in case things get worse here, we want to be sure we’re around to do whatever needs to be done and to help with whatever needs there might be within the church and in the community.
Because of this virus, we’ve all learned how to connect better with people online. So search for “Team Colombia” on Facebook, follow the page, and send us any question you have, and we will do a live video to answer your questions! We will also have some BIG ministry news in the next couple months.