The situation here in Colombia has been very “interesting” it is the second country in South America with most Covid-19 cases right now and we have been under a strict quarantine for 3 months and a half now.
No social gatherings allowed means no church meetings in person, and according to all of our sources in the health ministry the ban will continue until next year.
The death toll has not been that high thankfully, but we are approaching the peak of the virus spread and the numbers are beginning to rise.
A lot of informal employment in Colombia means that many people have suffered economically wise due to the quarantine, and as a church we have seen many opportunities to help those in need.
The church in general has been very active, first meeting people needs and taking care of one another, and secondly we have been very busy not only moving to an online type of ministry but helping other churches doing so… some inmediately thrived in this new media and some were really stuck and had no idea of what to do.
Last month FIEL bible Institute organized a virtual conference for all the churches in our network, 26 churches joined in, we did PLenaries, workshops and forums all on line for 2 weeks, each day we would have a different activity that people could sign up to.
For the 15 activities we had an average of 150 attendants to each of them, some repeated some new each time. The topic was “the church in the digital era” and we covered topics from setting up a virtual transmission to ministry ideas for kids, ladies and men ministries online.
It was very encouraging as we saw many churches that were “stuck” implementing new ideas and methods to continue ministry under this circumstances…
There are couple groups organizing virtual dinners, kids ministries that use online delivery services to send the kids prizes for sunday school participation, worship teams that are learning video editing to continue to encourage their local churches through music, and group studies using zoom and the small groups option for prayer and bible studies, we see people coming to christ and our local church has added 5 families in the last 3 months.
It is interesting to think about how many of all these new initiatives will remain after all of these is done, but the world has been transformed indeed and our society has taken a tremendous leap towards virtuality….
Continuing to pray for all of you and knowing that the Lord is at work through all of this.