COVID-19 became a worldwide pandemic, Costa Rica was not an exception. I was given the opportunity to return to Ohio, but I decided not to. The government has put out a restriction for driving, social distancing is in place, grocery stores have limited entrance, and soap abounds. Obviously this affects ministry — I have not left the base much but God has opened doors in spite of this.
During this time, social media has been a great way to connect and do ministry. Every other day I post on our community Facebook page a Scripture reflection along with a picture from nature. Many people told me this encourages them during this time of social distancing. We also helped organize a campaign to make signs talking about washing hands and staying at home, as well as a video of different people from Montecito singing about staying connected as a neighborhood. People have been very appreciative.
One local couple works in restaurants, and after things started closing because of the virus, they did not have work anymore. So we took them basic food items (along with popcorn and candy for their kids). The father sent me a message later and I could hear the emotion in his voice saying how thankful he was for the gift and for our friendship. We have also teamed up with the Catholic church a few times to give food to families that are hurting right now because of the crisis.
There have been planning meetings with the leadership of the Mennonite church here to see how we can better support them and encourage the churches toward mission. I have also been involved with translating subtitles for two 50-minute videos from English into Spanish for Vida220.
While ministry work looks a lot different it is fulfilling to know that in spite of all that’s happening that I’m where God wants for now. This time has provided many staff bonding moments that we don’t normally have! I’m trying to be a blessing right where I’m at. I think that’s what all of us are called to do.