Once again, as long as COVID-19 continues to affect us, I will continue to update you all as to how our ministry is affected by the virus. This current lockdown is as serious and restrictive as the national lockdown last Spring. Something that is sometimes hard to understand and can be confusing is the fact that each of the nations of the UK (Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, England) has their own rules and timelines regarding restrictions in their areas.
At the moment, ALL four nations are in the tightest lockdown conditions, which means essentially, we are not to leave our homes except for the most essential of reasons, and there is essentially no mixing of households at all, again except for extraordinary reasons. No one is quite sure, how long this current lockdown will last, and it is most likely that each of the four nations will be making changes at different times. Even though each of the governments of the four nations evaluates the situation every two or three weeks in terms of possible changes to the lockdown restrictions, they are saying that the lockdown in Wales will probably last at the very least well into February, and in England this could last well into March and maybe as late as Easter. It’s impossible to tell. A couple of factors would be (1) if the lockdown restrictions do in fact lower the rate of spread of the infection, and (2) if we are successful in the efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible, especially among the most “at risk” groups.
Obviously, the restrictions on being in contact with people outside of our own households and the order to stay at home have a pretty devastating effect on our local ministries here, as I’m sure you can imagine. This is one of the issues that we plan to address quite proactively this month, as a time of prayer and reflection and planning, namely how do we go about local ministry under these restrictions, especially when we have no idea, when there will be a loosening of these restrictions. We are back to asking essentially the same questions that we were asking during the first lockdown last Spring, when it comes to local ministry.
Another area that continues to be affected in my personal ministry of networking and building new partnership and joint strategies for discipleship, evangelism and Church planting is the inability to travel outside of the country at this point. Under the current restrictions, not only is all but the most essential travel prohibited between the nations of the United Kingdom (for example, going from Wales to England), but pretty much all international travel has come to a standstill, again except for the most extraordinary and essential of reasons. It makes it quite difficult to plan and move forward with many of our plans to expand the ministry and mission of Linguæ Christi into other areas of Europe and among new minority language groups.
Please, pray for us, as we are praying and seeking the Lord’s guidance this month for the rest of 2021.