This prayer letter will be unusual. There isn’t time to prepare it properly, but it has to be done. Since January, efforts to write it have been frustrated. You deserve a letter and an explanation.
Frankly, things have been hopping. In addition to ongoing FBMI work, I’ve been blessed to help prepare missionaries by teaching four missions classes: the medical course at Hyles-Anderson College and three other classes in the evening Hammond Bible Institute, two in Spanish and one in English. Due to a recent computer problem, it’s been necessary to write most of the notes, handouts, quizzes, and tests.
Then, the COVID-19 Pandemic began to affect our missionaries in January. By February, we were dealing with new developments on a daily basis. I’ve written four updates for missionaries and pastors, which can be found on the FBMI website. The first was a general overview for missionaries as spiritual leaders. The second, for leaders and members alike, addressed how to reduce the risk of getting infected and what to do should infection occur. The third explained the U.S. State Department’s Travel Advisory program in the context of what is happening to help the missionaries with their travel decisions. Then in March, with the benefit of what has been learned, the fourth was written to help everyone understand the nature of COVID-19, why it is provoking such an unprecedented response worldwide, and the importance of responding wisely. We’re also responding as missionaries seek counsel as the pandemic affects their families, ministries, church members, and plans.
Finally, it’s been a privilege to continue to help First Baptist Church respond to the rapid-fire direction from federal, state, and local civil authorities. On a daily basis, I’ve been reviewing new developments from the public-health authorities and the medical sector in order to help us respond wisely.
We continue to serve, reaching the lost with the Gospel. On a recent cold, windy Saturday, we were knocking doors, and I met a young man named Jimmy. He tolerated my stiff, numb fingers as we looked up the verses, and with a huge smile, he trusted Christ as his Saviour. Wow! That warmed my heart!
And we thank you for “holding the ropes” with your prayers and financial support! Please pray for wisdom as we seek to help missionaries with such complex situations, and we need your prayers for health and protection as we go into harm’s way to care for others.
Please don’t hesitate to call if we can be of any service. We purpose to pray for you as well.
That all the world might hear the Gospel,
Dan and Lana Siemer