"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Tim 1:7
“Are you okay? Are our friends from OBI okay? We are praying for you.” How strange it is to be on the receiving end of prayers as the USA battles the COVID-19 along with the rest of the world. As I contacted my friends and Christian coworkers in Ukraine, Moldova and Sierra Leone, I discovered they saw themselves as being okay but those of us in the USA in greater danger. We are all holding fast to 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear.” Valentyn has adapted OBU to meet the current constraints in Ukraine that limit the members of his teams from meeting together. They have transitioned the baptism preparation and Bible studies to online interface. They have been under similar constraints as we are in the United States. In Kyiv they can still use the bus for transportation and most are working from home. OBU is supporting the chaplains as they continue to go to the front for ministering to the military members still fighting there. Our OBU hospital chaplains are part of the staff and are the ones showing love and care while visitors are kept away. Olive Branch Ukraine is preparing for the future with hope and faith that God will provide for all the needs.
In Sierra Leone, there have been less restrictions, but the memory of Ebola and its impact is still vivid. Patients fled the hospitals where our chaplains work when they saw dead people arrive at the hospital shortly after the first COVID-19 case was found. Even though these people had not died from COVID-19, fear was rampant. Our hospital chaplains continue to go to the hospitals and minister to all who are there. And yet, they are concerned about us, those of us who have served with OBI, that God will keep us safe. They see the USA as being in a much worse situation than they are as they hear the numbers of cases and deaths continue to rise.
We must continue our support to these vital programs with OBI. Even though we have no scheduled travel, our programs are still active, and our workers are doing the work God has given them. We know many of you are facing challenges, but we are so grateful that God is keeping us together spiritually while distancing physically. The internet, Facetime, Messenger, Facebook, Twitter are keeping us in touch. We celebrate the victories as God’s love is being shown during this time.
Sierra Leone Project Director