The last couple of months I’ve greeted you from unusual circumstances. In August, I was actually on the road, and in September I was in a 14-day precautionary quarantine. Now, I am writing peacefully from my home in Talysarn, which at first glance shouldn’t seem odd, except for the fact that I was supposed to be in another country (Estonia) with the ministry today. I’ll say more about that in the update. Regardless of my location and circumstances, I extend warm greetings to you all for this month’s bulletin.
In some ways, this October update is going to be only a slight variation on last month’s update, as much is simply a continuation of activities since the September update. Here are a couple highlights.
Update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe
First, our situation with the COVID-19 both in the UK and Wales has gone from bad to worse since my last report, which itself was fairly grim. I have a feeling that many of you, who are reading this update, are also experiencing complications due to a dramatic rise in cases of COVID-19. Many areas of England (including those just across the border from Wales) and Wales itself are now facing renewed restrictions over and above those that have applied to everyone these past few months. One of the main differences in those areas with tighter restrictions is that they cannot leave their area, unless they have a really good reason, and no one else can enter those areas without an equally good reason. Obviously, this makes some travel issues more complicated. In the part of Gwynedd where I live, things are a bit better, and we are not under the more severe restrictions, but Bangor in our county, which is a major university centre is under a more restrictive lockdown, where people are prohibited from leaving or entering the area.
As you can imagine, even though there is a bit more freedom where I live, going further afield to other places, which would ordinarily be a regular part of my interaction and ministry, is off limits at the moment. However, in spite of these complications, all of us are trying to do what we can remotely and via long-distance. We continue to have regular discipleship and Bible study meetings via ZOOM or similar platform. I’ve had some great meetings both via ZOOM and in person (before things got more locked-down) with potential ministry partners. These initial conversations have gone very well indeed. So, I’m trying to make the best of the situation, as is everyone on the Team here at the moment.
Another area, which affects my ministry quite profoundly, is the difficulty of travelling to other countries for ministry. Usually the Autumn especially is a heavy travel time for me, and the Spring only slightly less busy with a lot of international travel. This is because many other countries across Europe (practically all of them) have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases; some of which are significantly more dramatic that what we’re seeing here. Others are in much better shape, but because things are not great here in Wales, England, Scotland, etc., those countries are wary about having visitors from the UK to come to their countries, and most are requiring an automatic 14-day isolation quarantine immediately upon arrival in their countries.
Consequently, at the moment, it’s almost impossible to plan. I had tentatively planned to be in Estonia during this time (mid-October). The purpose of these meetings was to discuss what partnerships would look like between us and some organisation/institutions there, and how we might be able to move forward with those relationships, should all parties embrace this idea. I’ll speak more to this subject later. However, this Estonian trip had to be postponed to early November, which has also had to be postponed possibly to December, and with each passing day it looks less and less likely that will work out, pushing this visit to late January perhaps. Also, I often use time in November to develop ongoing and new connections in Galicia, Basque Country, and Catalonia. This is certainly not going to happen at all now. Consequently, you can see the difficulty of the uncertainty. We can try to do as much as we can via ZOOM, but with many of these situations, a more relational direct approach is the way to initiate and move forward these possibilities for ministry and mission in partnership. Your prayers are definitely appreciated in this regard.
My final point related to the most recent effects of the Coronavirus pandemic is that the situation has hit a bit closer to home. One of our Team, who serves in the USA, had COVID-19 in late July, going through all of the expected unpleasant symptoms of the disease. For a short while, he seemed to be on the mend, but last month began to have some serious health issues that came from having the disease earlier in the summer. Please, pray for “T” that he will receive full healing from these lingering, serious medical issues, resulting from COVID-19.
We are still working on this with our partners in Florida. However, we’ve been slightly delayed due to some new restrictions here as well as the aftermath of weather-related issues in the USA. It is now looking more like being finished in November, rather than this month.
However, if you would like to know more about the dates and locations for these live broadcasts, let us know, and we’ll try to get that information to you, as soon as we have a clearer idea of all of the Churches and others, who will be hosting these broadcasts.
If your Church, Campus ministry, Association, Organisation, Group, etc. (with a Facebook page) would like to host a premiere on your Facebook page, please, contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll let you know exactly how you can do that, and it should be pretty easy to do.
Finally, I wanted to make another appeal for help. Simply put, we need some people to help us both on-field in specific areas and with specific language groups. We’re doing the very best we can, even with the pandemic. At the moment with our present personnel, we are all doing various things, wearing numerous hats, and spending pretty much every waking moment working hard both in local ministry and in realising the much broader goals and aims of Linguæ Christi, which goals in turn we believe to have been given to us by the Lord as a missionary calling. Again and as simply as I can put it, we need help.
I am praying that someone, reading this appeal will be God’s answer to our prayers for more people to serve alongside us in various ways. We’ve talked a bit about these various options, but I’m going to list them all at once here:
These are opportunities for people to help us in strategic ways without even having to leave their homes. Some of these roles require nothing more than your time and a willingness to help. Others require specific skills such as graphic design, web/app design, art, translation, fundraising, grant writing, and accounting, just to name a few. You can learn more about how to volunteer with Linguæ Christi here.
For those who are university/seminary/college students or recent graduates, we have a number of opportunities for short-term service during the summer months. We have several possibilities among several language groups in a number of countries for Summer 2021. You can learn more about what’s available on our short-term projects page.
For those who may feel called to serve for a medium-term assignment (1–2 years) or even long-term or indefinitely, there are nearly limitless opportunities to serve. Visit this page to explore more options for mid-term and long-term service.
Thank you for reading these appeals and opportunities to be involved. Feel free to share these with others and invite them to subscribe to these monthly updates.