March 17, 2020
Dear Church Family,
I had this thought this morning, "What a great day to be a Christian!" Dear brother and sister, we have a gracious, merciful, loving, wise and sovereign Heavenly Father. We are cared for and follow the Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ wherever He goes as He is our example and our saving, sacrificial Lord. We are indwelt and sealed by the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it. May we say today, like every day, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" Galatians 2:20.
There is no doubt that our lives have been disrupted by the spread of COVID-19. We could think of all the ways that such disruptions are bad, inconvenient or uncomfortable. But we know that such disruptions are designed and ordained by God for His own purposes. This disruption has come to your life at exactly the right time and God will use it for your good. What a reminder that things will not always go on as normal forever because Jesus is coming again! Yes! Come, Lord Jesus! Until that day we must live well, live like Christians, be who we are in Jesus Christ through this time. We do not take this lightly as we realize that some will have their life threatened and some have their life taken through this pandemic. Therefore, pray without ceasing, my brothers and sisters.
We also must love like Christ during these days. We are to love one another, care for one another, serve one another and also love our neighbor. I have wrestled, prayed, asked God for His guiding wisdom over the past days. I have spoken with the other leaders in the church. I have been in contact with Dr. Kim about his recommendations concerning what is best medically concerning personal contact and gatherings. I have been listening to our governing authorities and what they are mandating for the public. Through all of this the leadership has come to the following decision:
For the next three weeks, we will be suspending all gatherings of Grace Bible Fellowship. This includes our Sunday gatherings that would take place on March 22, 29 and April 5.
This decision is not made on the basis of fear or worry. It is made because we must listen to our government officials, listen to those who know how this virus works and spreads, listen to what is best so that it can be curbed, and we can be back to our regular ministry schedule as soon as possible. It is with a heavy heart that I make this announcement. It is difficult because there is no way to provide a substitute for the church. We are are the church when we gather together. There is no way I can replicate what happens here on a Sunday morning. I pray that such a time might grow our desire to be together, cherish the times when we will come together in the future, and build a longing that only will be quenched when we meet again.
I am currently looking into the best way to give you something from God's Word each week and how we might be able to use technology to do that. We will continue to be in communication with you. I plead with you to encourage one another, check on one another, pray for one another, speak truth from God's Word to one another. I need you to pick up the phone, send out texts, emails, write letters/cards, chat over Skype or Facetime. Find some way to communicate with others in the church and love them well. I am here to minister to you in whatever way I can. Send prayer requests, questions and praises my way. Have the boldness to talk to others about Jesus during these days and shine as a light for Him. This might be the means that God would use in someone's life to call them to Himself. May He give many ears to hear and may He give us the courage to proclaim the truth of the gospel. Pray that God would bring revival to His church through this time.
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work be shown to your servants and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! Psalm 90:12-17
PS - If you haven't already, now is a great time to "like" our Facebook page as it will be another avenue of communication.