God, COVID19 and a Young Girl

17 Jun 2020

Our plans were in place!  A day of intentional praying, thoughtful discussion, and excited planning had resulted in our mapping out the coming year.  Driven by our passion to see lives transformed by the power of God’s love and lifted out of poverty, particularly through the empowering and equipping of locals in wholistic transformational community development, and educational opportunities, we listed vision casting and training seminars, pioneering and expansion through exploration of the island, networking, visitations, and much more.  The year was full!

Then…the COVID19 pandemic!  Like the curtain falling suddenly in the midst of a performance, quarantine restrictions forced us into a ‘stay at home’ scenario.  What now?  No travel.  No opportunity to sow seeds for community development.  No church.  What about our plans?  Most of our ministry activities were constrained as we were contained.  Discouragement, questioning, and grief had their fleeting moments, but God was to reveal His plans for this new season, as we lifted our gaze to Him, rather than focus on what seemed to be lost.

‘You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.’ 

(Proverbs 19:21)

During our time here in the Philippines, we have forged a relationship with our nearest neighbours, a large family with 13 children, as well as others in our local community.  Through being ourselves, ‘loving on’ our neighbors and they, us, in our own vulnerabilities of sickness and isolation, we enjoy a strong relationship, which was to become the catalyst for God’s Kingdom plans for these people.

A few seemed interested in matters of faith, even joining us at church occasionally.  Of significance was the 12-year old girl, who loved to visit us, chat in English, and learn about our culture, life, and faith.  When quarantine restrictions were imposed and we suggested a Sunday Bible study at our place, her immediate question was, ‘Can I join you?’

As we came to terms with changes in ministry, we could see how God was working through these circumstances, placing in our hands this amazing opportunity to further His Kingdom through establishing a Discovery Bible Study DBS with those nearest to us!  What a delight and privilege to journey with these neighbours, to witness their ‘discoveries’ as they delve into God’s Word, to see the Holy Spirit at work in inspiration and transformation, and to hear their heartfelt prayers.  We have been meeting now for almost three months, and already the few are keen to add to the numbers!

God, COVID19 and a young girl.  Not the end of ministry but a redirection as God’s Word continues to go forth and bear fruit, building His everlasting Kingdom! 

Narelle & Gary, Pioneers workers serving in Oriental Mindoro, Philippines.

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