So I thought I’d let you know that I’m OK. “THE virus” has not made it here in any way, so there is no health risk from that. The massive epidemic of the peer pressure of fear pressure is here in full force, inducing a “state of emergency,” much like where you are. I am not particularly afraid of the illness, but the side effect of frustration with all that is going on around me: the rapid dissemination of half-truths and blatant lies, the blindness to truth, and most of all the screaming silence on the providence of the Almighty Sovereign of the Universe…. well that’s another matter.

The secure community where I live has been closed down since last week, so I was given special permission to continue to work in town, so long as I keep my distance from folks while I am here on the center. That’s not too hard, since I tend to be a bit of a hermit anyway. So every day I drive into town to work at the hospital for 4 hr./day (as usual) and drive back. The only change there is that I no longer take a rider along with me. That is so that 1) I cannot be blamed for infecting anyone with anything, and 2) so that I do not take someone to town who will just sit around for 4 hours in contradiction to the government orders of ‘no unnecessary travel’ and ‘no congregating’, and 3) so that I convey the perception to the community that I want to submit to government authority, who has required that no one take on passengers to and from town. All that being said, it is my prayer that the Lord would keep me safe on these drives to and from town. I have consulted with a number of people about this, and have been reassured that I am likely safe. I also have the cell phone number of the chief of police in town. 🙂 Most of all I am certain that the Lord is watching over me.

At the hospital I continue to see really sick people. The health care workers are affected by the general fear of the unknown, and so many people are not being seen, while others with minor illnesses are taking up time and space in the wards. Today I cared for a man who was quite ill with acute Hepatitis B, and dehydrated to the point of shock. It was a blessing to see him walk out of the clinic a few hours later feeling much better. I saw a young man 2 weeks ago, and another this past Monday who have suffered injury to their hearts from malaria and/or its treatment. I have seen quite a number of children and teens who are suffering from TB. Many children and young adults have died from it recently in our community. There is another source of frustration; no one counts that endemic illness as anything to worry about at all. I am so grateful to be able to offer them the kindness of the Lord, and start them on treatment that will hopefully save their lives…. giving them a chance to turn to the Savior.

I was looking for the verse in Jude about being “kept” by our Lord, but I couldn’t remember the reference. So I looked it up in my Bible program. The verses with the word “keep” were all listed there in my search. It was such a blessing that I thought I’d copy it here. It is as if the Lord was directly giving me a focus and perspective that I am expected to “keep on keeping on,” and that He is the one keeping me. I copied the verses from the ESV.

Jas 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: … keep oneself unstained from the world.
1Pe 2:12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so … they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
1Pe 3:10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;
1Pe 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
2Pe 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 2:9 then the Lord knows how to rescue (keep) the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
1Jn 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Jude 1:24-25 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

The above picture is of Pastor Jimmy and his family. They are special friends, and close fellow-laborers in this little corner of God’s harvest. He is remarkably faithful, and such an encouragement to me. He is an incredible example of someone who “keeps on keeping on,” in spite of so many reasons to quit. I thank the Lord for this kind of sweet fellowship with like-minded believers, both here and there. And I thank you all for your prayers.