I had mentioned in our last letter that we have plane tickets to leave for Uruguay on May 18. We were waiting to be approved for a Special Entry Permit to attend language school. The language school we will be attending has been a huge help in communicating with the government officials that approve the entry permit. Sadly, the number of cases of COVID continued to rise in April and May in Uruguay. In fact, Uruguay had the highest death rate for COVID per capita in the world during the first week of May! More restrictions were put in place there, which included all schools stopping in-person learning. Some of the schools have resumed in-person learning for children, but we do not know when in-person learning will resume for adults. Because of that, we were not approved for the entry permit and therefore aren’t allowed to enter the country. We were told that once in-person learning for adults resumes, we will be approved right away for the Special Entry Permits. There is some speculation that this may happen in June, but we just don’t know. There is also talk of a “COVID Vaccine Passport,” which will allow anyone who has taken the COVID vaccine to enter the country. That may begin in June also. I had intentionally waited to write this letter in the hopes of having a more definitive answer to give on when we will arrive in Uruguay, but right now, we are just waiting for more news. Thank you for praying with us about this situation, and please continue to pray for us to be able to get to Uruguay soon. We know God is in control. Please also pray for the Uruguayan people, as some are dealing with the loss of family members, jobs, and other things as a result of COVID.
COVID’s Effect on People Spiritually
I recently asked a missionary in Uruguay if COVID has caused the people to be more interested in spiritual things. He said that many people are very fearful now. People are much more concerned now with how the government can help to stop the virus. People are very lonely now, which has helped to open doors for the the Gospel. Some good Christians are so concerned that they have stopped coming to church completely. There are definitely new opportunities to give the Gospel now. God used a plague of locusts in the book of Joel to show the people His coming judgment, and then He commanded the people to turn to Him. Joel 2:12 says: “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart . . . .” I believe that God can use terrible times to draw people to Him, and I pray that this will happen in Uruguay.
We have been able to be close to home, for the most part, this past month. We have been working to finish up the paperwork that we need to apply for residency in Uruguay. We’ve also been able to pack some totes for our move and purchase some of the items that we need. We are planning to finish the meetings we have scheduled through the end of June. We also praise the Lord for these new supporting churches: Faith Baptist Church, Hope Bible Baptist Church, Berean Baptist Church, Lighthouse Baptist Church, Freedom Baptist Church, and Victory Baptist Church. We are so thankful for your prayers and support for our family.
- Six new supporters
- Safety as we finish up deputation
- Uruguay as they deal with COVID
- Uruguay to reopen
- Wisdom as we prepare for our move
- The Uruguayan people to be more open to the Gospel
Your missionaries to Uruguay,
Tim, Christa, Ethan, Evan, and Emmalynn Simmons