COVID 19’s Spiritual Impact to the church
By: Rev. Eduardo Falla
Whenever we feel overwhelmed by the chaos and difficulty of life, we can turn to God in prayer for peace and serenity.
In Philippians 4:6, the Bible tells us; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
COVID-19 pandemic devastated the entire world. Many people are hurting, confused and frustrated. This pandemic changed all forms of life, especially the church.
It is our innate desire to be in fellowship with one another in the church, every Sunday; where the admonishing, rebuking, and the teaching of the word of God is proclaimed. Moreover, the fellowship is vital for each other’s encouragement.
Church gatherings may have come to a halt but it didn’t stop the believers to seek and worship God. Despite the risks, God has given us an option to use technology to reach out many believers; to encourage them to keep holding on to God, for apart from Him we are nothing.
The church in Mindoro uses live stream worship to reach out every household–the outline of the preaching is sent to every family.
In the first quarter of the pandemic, we had experienced the grace of God in our lives and the ministry. The fear of surviving in this pandemic succumbed us to think of our members who only lived one day at a time because of poverty but we were reminded of the Word of God in; Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” God is always faithful.”
The COVID 19 pandemic open more doors of ministry opportunities. We had the opportunity to extend some relief goods to families in the community. Because of the action, families in our community open their doors for bible studies.
When the government in Mindoro allowed us to gather, though limited in number to maintain social distancing, we were amazed by what God is doing in the ministry. People cannot be stopped in coming to church. New faces were coming to the church to hear the Word of God–It amazed us.
Every Sunday is a day of celebration, and weekdays became busier because many wants to have Bible study at home.
Despite the hindrance of the pandemic, the ministry is flourishing.
Those times that the gathering is prohibited, we were grateful to God for His provision. We have experienced how God used JECPP for extending financial blessing to us.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Dr, Robert Lim and the Spiritual leaders under the leadership of Rev. Peter Wee. Most of all we want to thank God for His endless provision.
Fulfilling God’s Great Commission in the midst of the COVID 19
By: Rev. Domingo Galagata
On March 2020, the government implemented a nationwide lockdown to avoid the spread of the Corona virus. Indeed, this situation is not easy for everyone.
Maybe we have a lot of questions in need of answers; especially, having no control over something as inevitable as the Covid-19 outbreak.
In my personal point of view, I see that the possible results are really scary. Its effect seems to be like that of a domino; starting from a health crisis, then, subsequently an economic collapse causing domestic problems that leads to hopelessness for a frightening environment.
Despite the pandemic, I have proven that this is not a hindrance to fulfill the great commission. Since the lockdown was implemented until now, we continued activities in the church.
We hold discipleship training on Wednesdays, prayer meetings on Fridays, and worship services via zoom on Sundays that even reaches our brethren’s internationally.
On the good side, the pandemic brought many families to come to the Lord even ones who were not active; for it is through these trying times that brought spiritual awareness to them. On the other hand, it left us no tithes and offerings to collect as hindered by the prohibiting of mass gatherings; which worries me about our finances.
As we were tested, Jesus came to prove true His promises; for, some of my members pledge on helping the church financially.
On July 2020, our province was included under MGCQ. We had a face to face gathering, though only a limited number of people attended due to social distancing.
The eldest son of one of my members came to church asked me to pray for his father who was then on the mat of sickness. Not thinking of the possible effect on my health, I agreed to the request.
When I came to their house, I was surprised by what I saw. Lying sick and scrawny, almost unable to breathe, was the patient; His family and relative around him with hopelessness written on their faces.
I approached him cautiously, and it was then that I made him and his family accept Jesus as his Lord and savior. His family, as witnesses of God’s favor, would be shares of the Gospel.
While spending time with the family, one of the members of the church said that the they were once advised by the doctor to bring the patient for a swab test; which, came out positive. In contrary of the doctor’s opinion, the family took the patient home. When they returned home, the mayor’s representative arrived with the news that the whole family is to a self-quarantine. Since then, the Barangay officials had been guarding their compound.
When I heard the story, I was worried for my health–with all the possibilities.
Then, I was asked to administer the burial of the patient; cautiously following the Mayor’s guidelines.
After 3 days, I had fever and cough symptoms.
At nights I could hardly breathe fine, I would wake up my wife and ask her to massage my chest to ease me. We prayed for safety.
The next day, Ptr.Jetro called to check up on me and he advised me to go to the doctor for a checkup and a swab test. So, I went and got myself looked up and was declared negative. To be safer, I self-quarantined for 14 days.
Nowadays, by the grace of God, my strength had returned and my condition had improved.
And so, I want to thank everyone who prayed for me; particularly, to all spiritual leaders: our regional director, Ptr Jetro, who gave advices and cares.
And also, I would like to thank God for JECPP. Your generosity has helped me a lot. Mathew 28:20 God is with us always as long we fulfill the Great commission. To God be all the glory!!!
Spiritual Awakening in the midst during COVID 19
By: Ptra. Greta Tita G. Tamayor
The Pandemic was a stone to the stream of our daily routine–the comfortable life that we were used to; yet it was used by God to awaken us and rearrange our priorities in life. It was a blessing in disguise because we received not just blessings financially or materially, but also insights and revelations.
Firstly, the blessing of having faith; our family devotion (prayer and studying God’s word) was intensified. We were able to have bonding time as a family and consequently developed closeness,
Hans learned to open up with us as we became his close friends.
Secondly, we received financial blessings; thus, being able to sit down, plan, and strategically save for a house and lot.
For the church, we were able to optimize our savings; we will not just save for the lot and building but also savings for emergencies such as pandemics.
So, during the pandemic, we were able to distribute a sack of rice, and groceries to the members.
As a result, they were inspired to give their tithes and offering. Despite the social hindrance, the members brought their tithes and offerings to the church, knowing the lack of Sunday service gathering–And God amazingly provided their needs!
In this Pandemic, I was able to finish the book that I am writing entitled; “Eye Opener”, it was an a-hundred-day challenge.
The purpose of the book was to develop a lifestyle of obedience to God by following the laws and principles he laid down for our life establishing devotional habits.
We distributed it to the leaders, some adults and teens, most of them were excited. Every week Ptr. Ricky and one of the leaders’ checks on them to know if they are following it.
As a result, the leaders were motivated; the adults were excited; and, the teens were inspired.
Then we also established an online bible study via zoom with the leaders. One of the leaders who is not attending the church anymore was encouraged to join us in our bible study, and now he is faithfully attending the bible study.
One of the young people who backslidden had come back to attend our face to face bible study in the church because he is just our neighbour.
We also developed a strategy called ‘blended service’; where they listen to live streaming and we printed the preaching of that particular Sunday making it a devotional from day 1 to day 6 to be distributed.
Indeed, the pandemic was a blessing to us.
Thank you to JECPP for their prayers and financial support.
Thank God for all the things he has done for us.
To God be the glory!
God’s Sustaining Grace @COVID 19
By: Ptra Rachel Engreso
EFC CANDON, ILOCOS SUR
The COVID -19 pandemic made its history as it rages on until now. Work, fellowships, events, occasions, and other social activities came to a halt. It made us realize the value of things that has greater significance to us.
We truly learned much during this crisis. We grew deeper in our relationship with the Lord; to be dependent on His power in times of weakness, His strength in weariness, and to experience His great love and compassion, and His grace is sufficient in times of need.
Though we seldom do church gatherings abiding the given safety precautions from the government, we still manage to have online services via live-streaming just with hope to reach our dear brethren in each of their respective homes–feeding them the Word of God.
As many had accepted the so called “New Normal”, we tried to adjust in many things–even the most of us are not use to it until now.
I could testify that it’s all by the grace, protection and provision of God that sustains us to always to move during this times.
We thank the Lord because He never fails to help us in times of crisis. He is our Jehovah Jireh, our very present help in times of need.
Great is thy faithfulness!
And we give Him all the glory and honor for keeping us safe and sustaining us with His strength. We thank God, also, for He blessed us with Spiritual parents and leaders to oversee us and show concern for us–our brothers and sisters in Christ, family, loved-ones and friends; who took care and extend their hearts and hands to us during the lockdown.
We emphasize, also, our gratitude towards our dear Pastor Robert Lim and JECPP for the financial assistance that we really needed–Thank you pastors!
We acknowledge that it is the Lord working behind the scenes and answers all our prayers.
God is truly good all the time and we give Him all the praises!