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Larry Sthreshley, a mission co-worker for more than 30 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), once more finds himself on the front lines combating a global pandemic. For years it was Ebola. Now it’s COVID-19.
An April survey by Research Services of nearly 1,100 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations and mid councils revealed some surprising responses on how they’re dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic:
Proposed budgets for the Presbyterian Mission Agency — about $61.2 million in 2021 and about $62.9 million for 2022 — will allow the agency two more years to continue the Matthew 25 focus and to carry out no small number of other worthy ministries, too.
Migrants are one the most vulnerable groups identified in the COVID-19 crisis, but especially so in the Philippines, where about 10 percent of the 100 million total population lives or works abroad because of poverty and lack of employment.
Louise Maxwell “Coffee” Worth, a retired Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission worker, alongside her late husband, George, in Korea for more than 20 years, died on March 25 in Lakeland, Florida after a short illness. She was 100 years old.
At a recent worship service, we read from the end of the book of Revelation. It described the beautiful vision of the New Jerusalem descending from heaven to Earth, and God coming to dwell among the people and the world God created. Listening to it read, I was struck again by the image of the tree of life on the banks of the river, producing new fruit for each of the 12 months of the year.
Long-time mission co-workers Dan and Elizabeth Turk are still separated, but at least they are now in the same country.
The Presbyterian Church of Colombia is reaching out to its siblings around the world, sending greetings of “solidarity in God’s call that invites us to do everything in our power to protect the life of the people in our congregations and neighboring communities through pastoral and humanitarian care.”
While Luke Rembold isn’t grateful for the circumstances of the current COVID-19 crisis and the pain and fear it is causing, he is grateful for the way he sees his Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) responding.
When it comes to keeping mission co-workers safe in the face of a global pandemic, there is no one-size-fits-all decision. Each situation is different, and each decision is individual.