AFES Response to COVID-19


AFES Response to COVID-19


(16 March 2020)

(22 March 2020)


Published 16 March 2020 Latest Updates Protocols

Dear brothers and sisters in the AFES family,

The COVID-19 outbreak is one of many solemn reminders of our fallen creation in the sovereign hands of our holy God who’s immeasurable love explodes in our Lord Jesus clothed in his gospel. And if there is ever a time for Christians to love our neighbours as an expression of loving God, it is NOW. 

To this end, we have created AFES protocols as one expression of this love.

This is a directive to AFES staff, and highly recommended to AFES affiliates. Please read the protocols here and direct any questions to your direct supervisor initially.

In my view, our government has not overreacted with its current measures, and heeding them is not only pleasing to God but also loving to our neighbours created in his image. To make every effort to curb the spread of the virus really is loving.

I especially want to alert you to three measures in the protocols.

1.    Please clearly communicate these protocols to your campus groups

2.    Do not meet as an entire leadership team in person. If one of you is inadvertently infected, the entire leadership team needs to self-isolate for at least 2 weeks.

3.    Do not go ahead with any planned residential conferences until we have more information, because of all the potential risks. Please consider having conferences where delegates stay in their own homes and bring their own meals.

 All these precautions will create considerable challenges for us. But in the sovereign grace of God, have we not been raised up for such a time?  Can I suggest the following ways to love one another, and our friends on campus to begin with.

  •  Meet in small groups online through SKYPE or Zoom, (or in person with the protocols observed) primarily to pray. It’s an exceptional time under the hand of God to reflect and pray for our AFES community, campus, churches, nation, world, and ourselves. We must of course pray for those especially affected (friends from overseas, and health professionals).
  • Consider live streaming talks for Public Meetings (e.g. using Facebook live), or smaller gatherings of Public Meetings that are also live streamed.
  • Share needs and opportunities in your AFES affiliate’s facebook group that includes sharing groceries (even toilet paper and hand sanitiser!), or offering other assistance such as lifts to various activities. 
  • Have your affiliate serve the wider campus community in their online forums to offer any similar assistance.
  • Keep sharing stories online that adorn our Lord Jesus and his gospel.

This is not a time for our potential love to slide into undue fear.

 As Florence Nightingale once said: “How very little can be done under the spirit of fear”.[1]

Let’s love God like Helen Rosevere: “To love the Lord my God with all my soul will involve a spiritual cost. I'll have to give Him my heart, and let Him love through it whom and how He wills, even if this seems at times to break my heart[2]

We Christians have been raised for such a time, to love like this.

Finally, if you haven’t already seen this on facebook, listen to Martin Luther as he loved God and neighbour, in the midst of the “Black Death plague”

I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”[3]

Let’s do likewise for the sake and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Praying with and for you

Richard

 

[1] https://www.goalcast.com/2018/02/08/inspirational-florence-nightingale-quotes/

[2] Dr. Helen Rosevere served as a Missionary Doctor in the Congo in the 1950s. See https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/298322.Helen_Roseveare

[3] Luther's Works Volume 43 pg 132 the letter "Whether one may flee from a Deadly Plague" written to Rev. Dr. John Hess