As the year 2020 started, our excitement could not be contained with all the events that would transpire in the church. Church activities for the whole year were already laid out. Our annual Missions Conference is one of those activities that we all look forward to. Choir practices and special numbers were lined up, as well as the Hands Play presentation and the booth competition. Invitations to different churches were sent out by February, and we had already received confirmation from our special speakers. However, in the midst of our preparations, God had something different planned for us.
Two weeks before the conference, news about COVID-19 began spreading. Classes were being canceled, and mass gatherings were prohibited by the government. We had no idea that checkpoints were already set up in strategic places around our town. On Wednesday, March 18, one of our men who picks up our church people was apprehended in one of the checkpoint areas. He was advised to go back home because of the community quarantine that was being implemented. At this point, I as a pastor had only two options. Should I stop or continue having church services? To be honest, it was not a tough decision to make. We went ahead and conducted church services, but with a new setup. We made sure we followed the protocol set by the government, such as social distancing, wearing of masks, etc.
One of the hardest things that I have witnessed during this pandemic is to see our church people lose their jobs, but our people are very resilient and resourceful. They will make a way to put food on their table. As a pastor, it is my duty to take care of my people, not only spiritually but also physically. At this instance, I did not hesitate to extend help to them. Using the funds we have from our weekly church offerings, we packed 45 bags of relief goods and distributed them to all our church members and church goers once a week. We also wanted to be a blessing to our community. We handed out some food packs to the frontliners in our area.
As far as my family is concerned, we are all doing okay. For some, being in quarantine can be boring and difficult. It is just a matter of having the right perspective. As for us, every moment of being together in the house is a moment to make precious memories. We do activities like baking, playing Hide-and-Seek, playing board games, and other things. One of the things that has really brought us closer together as a family is our Bible reading every night.
Please continue to pray for us as we face this pandemic. You are also in our prayers at this time. Thank you for supporting our ministry. In spite of all of this, we give God all the glory!!
Please pray for the following:
1. Our rescheduled Missions Conference
2. Spiritual growth of our new members
3. Scheduled baptism of 2 young ladies and my daughter Hadassah
4. Safety of everyone
5. Salvation of people in the midst of this pandemic
The Javier Family
Missionaries in the Philippines