Kathi Perry has been serving in Ireland with EFM since 2001. She and her teammates, David, Tricia, Jonathan, and Moriah Howell have been building relationships in the communities where they live (south of Dublin along the east coast). It’s very much an incarnational-type ministry. They are also connected to a couple of evangelical churches in the area.
Here is how Kathi answered the questions sent to our missionaries:
How is COVID-19 affecting those who live in the area where you live and minister?
- We are now on a “stay at home” order until April 19th (though it is likely to be extended). Schools closed two weeks ago, and more recently all non-essential businesses were ordered to close (many already had). Many people have been laid off work, with over 140,000 applying for financial assistance in the last ten days. If people can work at home they are asked to do that. This is made more difficult by the closure of schools and child care facilities. The government is working hard to provide financial assistance to people and businesses during this time. There were ten deaths today related to the virus. That is our highest count so far.
How is this situation affecting the ministry you lead?
- All of the groups that I run have been unable to meet for the past two weeks, and it is likely this will continue until summer. We are also unable to meet informally. The government has banned any gathering of more than four people (unless those people live in the same household). Most communication is now taking place in WhatsApp groups. We have begun to meet for Bible Study online, and I am thankful for that option (Really thankful!).
What are some opportunities you are seeing for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those who don’t know Him?
- The Irish are very good neighbors in times of trouble. I have seen this over and over. They check in with one another and offer help. I am glad to be part of a community that does this, and I hope that I can be equally helpful and encouraging to them. We will continue with Bible Study online. I am really thankful that the women want to do this.
And what are two or three prayer requests that we can use as we pray for you and those you lead?
- Pray for those who are sick, and for the many who are working to care for them. Pray for protection for those who are vulnerable. I know several young families whose children have complicated medical conditions, and they need others to take seriously the recommended precautions. Pray for open hearts, renewed faith, and a spirit of peace as we live in a time of uncertainty.
- And, for those of us who are very far away from our extended families, please pray for their protection and health as well. I know this will add to my peace. Thank you.
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