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Living in Europe During COVID-19

A few months ago, we started getting reports of a new, highly contagious virus in China. We heard stories of major cities shutting down. We prayed and shook our heads and kept an eye on the news.

Living in Europe During COVID-19

Then it appeared in Italy. Then Iran. Soon the United States, Spain, and the UK were reporting cases. As the numbers climbed, we started to see the worried faces of our presidents and prime ministers. We watched reports from doctors and nurses on the front lines. We heard that Italy went on total lockdown, and the numbers continued to climb. Schools closed. Events were cancelled. It swept through the continent and across the world. We have all been affected by this terrifying new virus. 

 

My name is Linley, and I am an Agape Student staff member in Greece. I haven’t seen my teammates or students in over a week now. I have to text the government my name and address when I visit the supermarket or go for a run. I worry about my family in Texas, my teammates across town and students, many of whom are with their grandparents in their villages. 

 

The world has never seen something like this in my lifetime. All of our prayerfully laid plans are changing, and we’re trying to figure out how to proceed with the Great Commission during this unstable time. It is not easy. 

After our team discussed how to connect with students during this time, we decided to host a Facebook Live for our weekly Bible study time. The focus will be on crises in the Bible and how God brought his people through trials, something that is especially relevant at this time. I think about how Joseph was able to provide for his brothers during a season of famine that stretched across the known world. I think about Rahab and how she provided safety for the Israelite spies. I think about how the early church was a place of refuge for the Apostle Paul when he was beaten or imprisoned. 

 

Friends, God’s story is full of unknowns and fears. The anxiety is real, tangible, and valid. But what we must be careful of is succumbing to the fear entirely. We are promised that the Lord is faithful, and we all have stories of His care for us. This situation is no different. 

Find comfort in the fact that we are all together in our isolation. 

There are no end dates for when the world will recover from COVID-19, but we will recover. Together, let’s show the hope of Christ the world so desperately needs, both to each other and to our neighbors. Pray for them. Pray for our leadership in Agape and in our governments. Pray for our medical professionals. Let’s move forward with faith over fear. 

“And he who was seated on the throne said ‘Look, I am making all things new!’ Then he said ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” Revelation 21:5 

By Linley Stringer, staff member in Greece

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