God is so good! We finally completed five months of lockdown with COVID-19. It seems we will be locked down for another year at this point, as they keep moving it six months out at a time. We are in Stage 3 and Stage 4 of lockdown. In the country where we are, we are only in Stage 3 but are not allowed to go into the Stage 4 areas, which are just two cities away. The fines for soul winning or visitation are steep: $1,600.00 in some areas for just being out without a government-issued reason or documentation. The Aussies, if they are going to continue working their jobs, recently had to apply for a job permit, so if the police or military stop them randomly, they have to be able to prove they are eligible to work. Our state is locked down from all the other states in Australia with military and police checkpoints.
Don’t forget the mandatory face coverings required currently anytime we are outside our own home, with a $200 fine for non-compliance. They have started arresting people for protesting the face masks in Melbourne, but yet other protests go unchecked with no arrests. Things are starting to look a little bleak, as our leadership in state government is striking more deals with communist countries and seems to be trying to bankrupt the whole country. Our state is one of the main business hubs in the country beside Sydney, and we are bringing them down quickly.
The folks in the church are starting to get angry and voicing their frustrations to us about the current situation of no meeting, no outreach, and social media only. I keep reminding them that the more restrictions and the more government regulations just bring us closer to global communism and, praise the Lord, what I believe to be the Lord’s return.
Last month (before the hard lockdowns), our neighbor Ash had to move his family back to Tasmania with his parents, as the government had closed his place of work. He worked at an abattoir (meat-packing plant). Before he left, I told him that he and his family were on our hearts, as we had been praying for him and his wife and children to receive the Lord as their Saviour. I was only able to spend 30 minutes outside in my front yard giving him the Gospel. He understood that Christ died for him and that he needed to trust Christ as his Saviour or he would go to Hell. As he was tearing up, he said, “I will have to think about this,” and walked away. I hope everyone will pray for Ash, as his parents live on the top part of Tasmania, which I think is close to Bro. Westbrook, but we do not have an address to give Bro. Westbrook. Also, please pray that restrictions will ease up so we can continue to minister to the people here in Australia; and, of course, pray for people to be saved and baptized.
Missionary in Australia