What is “normal”?
Normal is to care for the orphaned and vulnerable child, Covid-19 has temporarily changed the way we do ministry but not the reason.
Our sites, along with countries all over the world, are experiencing a new “normal” in response to COVID-19. As cases are confirmed in-country, staff are limiting their visits to partnering children’s homes, but providing essentials as they are needed. Communication is a priority for each staff member as they continue to serve the children and partners during this time. There have been business closures in efforts to practice social distancing and remain safe and healthy, and the children are no longer attending school at this time.
Haiti’s first Hope Program Students are keeping busy in their homes by doing homework packets provided and continuing to learn important life skills. Staff maintain contact with hope parents and the students, readily providing where and when they can.
Some of the ways we have had to adapt in crisis have had financial implications, including cancelling our summer mission teams and implementing “relief” efforts, such as providing care packages filled with games and entertainment to our children to keep them occupied and providing tutoring through recorded videos. We are adjusting to these new financial constraints and adapting to new budgets by reallocating funds and reducing some non-essential services while continuing to meet our children’s physical, educational, spiritual emotional and social needs through new innovative ways.
I am amazed how our National Back2Back staff is responding to the ever-changing needs in light of COVID-19. Our Leadership on the grounds in Haiti, Nigeria, Mexico, and India haven’t missed one beat in ensuring our children are loved, seen, and known during this time of uncertainty.
We are grateful for how this difficult time has strengthened our communication, grown our empathy, and challenged us to pray more, press on, and think of new innovative ways to serve our children. However, we long to return to true community – in person, worshiping and serving together. Our children long to return to school. In Haiti, our children at times sleep with their bookbags on hoping they get to return to school the next morning.
We look forward to the day when children are able to meet with their psychologists and process their feelings, meet with their mentor, receive in-person tutoring weekly, and gather together to share a meal.
My role with Back2Back has continued to be working with the Corporate Finance department, helping with the budget and re-allocation of funds. It is a role that involves a lot of spreadsheets and number crunching, but also a role that provides the infrastructure in order to make ministry happen on the front lines.
As of right now, I don’t have a timeline for my move to the Dominican Republic. The country has closed its borders until further notice and implemented a curfew of 5pm. We are continuing to monitor the situation there and the spread of COVID-19.
Please continue to pray for Haiti and the Dominican Republic. These countries don’t have the medical facilities we have, and the impact of that is devasting if/when the virus hits there like it has other places in the world.
There are a lot of things I don’t know right now, especially around timing and what the future holds but I do know this –
I know that we are made for a purpose.
I know God is good.
I know He has plans to prosper us not harm us.
I know this isn’t just to redirect us, it’s to redeem and restore us.
What I am learning is I don’t need to know everything in order to give God the best I have today. I don’t need to know every detail of the plan or be reminded to put on my mask before assisting someone. I just need to know Who is in charge, and that is enough because He is much more dedicated to the plans, He has for me than I am.
I am learning to choose what I focus on.
If I focus on what I don’t know instead of The One who does know, I will go crazy, and trust me, I have. Sometimes I think my mind is the one that needs to be wearing the mask. So today I am going to choose to focus on seeing the goodness God has right in front of me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
As we continue to globally shelter in place, Back2Back and myself wants to acknowledge this is not the “new normal.” It isn’t “normal” at all. Right now we desire some sense of normalcy and for things to go back to the way things were, but the hard truth is there is no real going back, (maybe that’s a good thing) there is only going forward and when we walk forward, I believe something meaningful and better will come from this and God’s faithfulness will be proven because what we endure matters.
We are designed to live in community, and I am grateful to count you part as part of mine.
Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support!