Following is a letter of encouragement from GCI European Superintendent, James Henderson:

Dear sisters and brothers, elders and ministry workers in the Lord,
 
Jesus is with you. No matter what your situation is, no matter how bleak things might seem, our compassionate Lord remains true to who he is, our ever-present and loving Saviour. Nothing can remove us or isolate us from God’s love. As Paul wrote, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39 NIV).
 
Let’s keep Jesus at the forefront of our mind as we face the coronavirus crisis. This is a time to make our Christianity known, not to isolate it. It’s a time to let it shine, not to hide it in a corner of our house. We may need to self-isolate, but that does not mean that we should isolate others from Jesus who lives in us. Let his mind be in us as we respond to the worsening situation. In a few weeks the collective Body of Christ remembers how Jesus Christ, “through the eternal Spirit, offered himself unblemished to God…so that we may serve the living God! (Hebrews 9:14). In the midst of our distress, let’s continue to serve the living God.
 
How can we do this? How can we serve others when we are trying to practice social distancing and trying to take care of ourselves? Whenever it’s safe and practical, help others. If church services are cancelled for the time being, don’t regard it as the end of church togetherness. Phone or video-call others with an encouraging word. Listen, empathize. Laugh together if you can. Make a plan of contact and put it into action. Help others feel and be part of our local church community, and, by the way, in so doing, we’ll also help ourselves feel part of it too. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). 
 
For those of us more directly involved in ministry, make provision for our precious members and contacts. Consider video Bible Studies, sermons and prayer meetings. Encourage the use of GCI congregational, national, and international websites. Please stay in touch with people by phone, texts, e-mails, etc.
 
Bearing everything in mind, let’s devote some dedicated time to prayer on this matter. If you can, choose a time that works for you this coming weekend or early next week. Pray for the Gospel that it will go out undiminished, pray for our governments that they make wise decisions and for “all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2), and pray for the church that its structure will remain financially intact throughout the crisis. Above all, pray that the love of Jesus will flow through us to others. Let his love within us compel us to pray and care for others caught up in the current distress. Pray for the sick, the bereaved and the lonely. Pray for people by name. Join Jesus in his love for them by participating in his prayers to the Father.
 
Thank you for reading this message, and for the love you share for each other and for your loyalty to our wonderful fellowship.
 

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Much love from Shirley and me,
James Henderson
(GCI Superintendent for Europe)

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