In my living room, we have a large sign with these letters: P.E.A.C.E.
You don't have to read many of these blogs to quickly understand, I Love Words! But I especially love words that have significance. So I have quite a few signs scattered around my house with sayings, quotes and single words for impact.
The sign with PEACE is strategically positioned on a self right above our TV. As I sit writing this post, I have only to glance up in order to be reminded. PEACE is as near as my focus.
This week, the World Health Organization declared coronavirus to be a pandemic, having impacted the entire world. We are experiencing some unprecedented actions on the part of our government leaders as well as local officials.
For Frank and I, this week has brought a lot of tension due to big decisions that needed to be made rather quickly based on less than perfect information. Fortunately, we're part of a Great team that worked alongside us in making those decisions.
One of the most disappointing decisions was to postpone our upcoming trip to El Salvador. A team of fifteen was scheduled to depart next Saturday. We have been going there for eight years. We take teams and supplies for the purpose of doing humanitarian work.
Working with a local church, we've helped build a vocational center and supplied dozens of sewing machines to be used by the women training there. There is also a weekly feeding program where children come to find a healthy meal and real encouragement. We've provided outreach materials for two schools and scores of individuals in the remote mountain area.
A part of our hearts stay behind every time we visit this beautiful place. We even have a young lady from our church who has given two years of her life to helping the people there full time. So, we spent many hours anguishing over whether or not we should go. Our final decision was confirmed when the president of El Salvador closed their borders to all foreign visitors.
We've met with medical professionals in our area searching out the most accurate information to share with our own church family. We've also had to determine how much of our regular schedule to maintain. (This church is always doing something!)
In the end, we realized the best plan for us was to focus on Faith, not Fear. To be diligent with using common sense. Wash your hands. Rest. Sanitize. Remain calm. And pray for those being directly impacted.
This morning I read a great idea posted by a friend who currently lives in central Europe. "Every time you watch a news report, follow it up by reading a Psalm from the Bible." What a great practice! Stay informed but also stay encouraged. What good does it do us to keep our bodies healthy if our souls are sick with fear?
There are too many wonderful promises in God's word to list here. But Psalm 91 is a powerful, promise-filled message to each of us. "I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
The important thing is for us to look up and choose to focus on the P.E.A.C.E. available.