Living as a Family During COVID-19

Get an inside look at what it's like for Agape FamilyLife Director, Hansjörg Forster, as he lives with his wife and two daughters in Switzerland.

Hansjoerg Forster

This is absolutely not what we expected springtime to be. Instead of having our two grown daughters leave the house more often, they are living much closer together with us than before. Due to the coronavirus pandemic we, like almost the entire population of the Western world, are demanded to more or less stay at home. We do have a beautiful apartment near the lake of Constance, but to be honest, that doesn’t matter much when you are forced to stay indoors and the space is very limited.


In fact, it feels too intimate. But how could we not use this time for anything besides quality family time? Instead of focusing on the difficult things, we share 3 joyful meals a day, have uncountable conversations about the crisis, our relatives, goals in life, the wish for a partner and so on.

Then the next day we start all over again. Where have all the meetings and outings in the evening gone? So, we sit there in a group of four watching a good movie or playing a board game.

In between, we are still allowed to take some strolls around. These relaxing moments divide parts of the day that all look the same. Oh, and should I mention that most days the four of us are working in the same little room ironically called our spacious open office?


Instead of complaining, I want to cherish the benefits of this time by seeking a more spiritual connection between my wife and me, but also with my grown-up daughters who are in their twenties. It’s a privilege to realize that from one day to the other, common prayer times evolved out of the needs of the situation the whole globe is in with us. On Thursday evenings at 20:00, we stand on our balcony and pray for others and the epidemic to stop. On Saturday mornings, we all sit down at the breakfast table and take Holy Communion first and pray the Lord’s prayer. We have never done this with such regularity.


It’s so rewarding to realise that all the years of investing in our children, by the Lord’s grace, now becomes a blessing for ourselves as parents. There is so much peace in the house when it could easily be an unbearable tension. But we know there is a much higher purpose behind the family than rest or rewards. It’s also more than just survival in our own family confines.

Hansjoerg Forster
Family during covid-19

That’s probably what the state wants us to do now in the infectious times of Corona--just survive for now. But what we really want is – together also with the two children who already left the house and the future families of our kids - be more ready than ever to step out (of our home) for Christ.

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