We want to thank those of you who have expressed concern as to the ministry of the FEA and Grace Bible Church in Fresno, California, in the midst of the current health crisis. As you all know, our nation and world is in the midst of a pandemic that is impacting the lives of families and individuals on a day-to-day basis. The uncertainty of the scope and duration of this crisis is disrupting almost every aspect of our daily lives. Despite this fact, the staff and families of the FEA and GBC are as well as can be expected, and we are continuing to fulfill our day-to-day operations here at the FEA as the Lord allows.
With fear and confusion so prevalent in the hearts and minds of many believers today, and with so many theories and misinformation propagated by secular and religious media alike, allow us the opportunity to share a few thoughts regarding the situation in which we now find ourselves:
- This is truly a worldwide health crisis. It benefits no one to downplay or politicize the situation, argue the infection/death rates of this coronavirus v. other flu or virus strains, or embrace ridiculous conspiracy theories as to what is happening or why it is happening. People are getting sick and people are dying, and the rate of infection is clearly growing on a daily basis. These are indisputable facts.
- This is affecting almost everyone. As schools, businesses, and churches are finding it necessary to close for a period of time, our daily lives and routines are being drastically interrupted. People are experiencing economic hardship, and some are even finding it difficult to acquire basic needs such as food and paper products. Of course, this pandemic is taking a mental and emotional toll on everyone as well.
- Many Christians and non-Christians are in a state of panic and fear due to the uncertainty inherent in a situation like this. We are uncertain of the long-term economic impact, the duration of the crisis, and the odds of becoming infected.
What should be our response as believers?
- Every person should do his or her part to use common sense with regard to heeding the advice of local authorities and doing everything necessary to slow the spread of this virus. We need to have a mindset of service and selflessness. Our “rights” are not as important as our testimony to the world and our responsibility to think of others and protect them—especially the young and the elderly.
- We must make sure, above all, that our spiritual lives and priorities are not disrupted in any way. In fact, this dire situation should press us into remembering and acknowledging that God is in complete control, and our responsibility is to continue to walk by faith rather than by sight. Our response should be different from that of the unbelieving world around us. While the world is full of uncertainty and fear, we must rest in the fact that nothing can separate us from Christ’s love (Rom. 8:35-39), and we are certain that God’s care, concern, and promises are true and unchanging (1 Cor. 1:20-22; Phil. 4:6-7).
Rest assured that this will pass, and we will return to normalcy should the Lord tarry. But in the meantime, let us be known as a people who love the Lord and others and who show such love by abiding in Christ and doing whatever is necessary to be of help and encouragement to others. Use this crisis as an opportunity to be a light, a witness, and an ambassador of Jesus Christ.