Since my last letter, a few months ago, there have been limited ministry changes due to the lockdown. I came back from Kyrgyzstan in March to get my heart checked after severe palpitations. So I got stuck in the US, as countries world-wide closed their boarders from the virus. I have been in weekly contact with my international teams. Stephanie and I are making every effort to return to Moldova in July. Below are updates on each country or region in which we have active mission teams.
C.A.: Salim was left behind to work when I had the urgent medical trip home. Until mid-May, he was locked down in his apartment and allowed to leave once a week for food. Since then we have mobilized three teams to open youth centers in two Central Asian countries. In July we will be able to start this outreach to college and high school students. We hope to join them by the end of summer. Unfortunately due to the pandemic, youth camps are not allowed to open this year.
Malawi: This country has had about 300 cases of COVID-19 and 4 deaths, yet it closed its borders, schools, and churches. Our new Bible School was required to send its students home in March. At this time the government will not allow us to run medical clinics. However, the evangelistic teams are planning and working toward starting new churches. Our partners there, the Hutchens, are doing a great job, and we plan to be with them in October and open the Bible School again. It is very exciting to see the local churches in action in Malawi. Our day camp teams are going out again this summer; we need support for these workers and bike repair funds.
Moldova: The country reported about 2,500 cases of covid-19 and 300 deaths. Their resulting shut-downs decimated the already struggling economy. Our Moldovan Bible students were sent home, and our Central Asian students have been quarantined to campus. This has been a difficult time for our team, and I have been on the phone regularly seeking to encourage them. We look forward to rejoining this group, and, since we are not able to have campers this summer, we will use this time to prayerfully reflect how to be more effective in the 21st century. There is much work to do in Moldova.
As a result of this world-crisis I believe we will see fields ripe for harvest and for proclaiming the blessed hope of Jesus Christ. It has been reported to me that, in C. A., youth are asking more questions about God, which is an obvious invitation to present Christ. We have heard of some revival in Moldovan churches, expanding the opportunity to share God’s hope. Because of the covid-19 fears, Africans are praying more and seeking God’s deliverance, which provides another door for Gospel presentation.
The world is still open for missions and the message of Christ. Please pray, continue to support missions, and do what the Spirit leads you to do for the kingdom. We are praying for you as well.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with me my cell number is 850-281-1428.
Dr. Eric Chapman