The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a dramatic impact on people all over the world. Governments are attempting to control the spread through bans on public meetings, travel restrictions, quarantines, etc. While the specific measures differ by country and locality, the entire world is affected, including missionaries.
Effects of COVID-19 on GBBI ministries:
4/1/2020 – Princeton Waters, GBBI missionary in Nigeria, reports that he and his family are doing fine, but they are under lockdown. All inter-state transport is restricted. All schools, churches and other social gatherings are banned.
Nigeria is also experiencing a Lassa fever epidemic. Since so much attention has shifted to coronavirus, there has been a sharp rise in cases of Lassa fever, which has a very high mortality rate.
Also, food prices have skyrocketed with the closure of national borders. Some items are 3 and 4 times the normal price. Many are unable to afford the high food prices.
All fellowships, outreaches, meetings and Bible studies have been cancelled, but Princeton continues to share the gospel online.
Dorcas and Remember are in Princeton’s home village with his mother. If things get worse, he will join them there.
3/8/2020 – The GBBI International Conference that was planned for April 14-16 in Nong Khai, Thailand, has been canceled. We will consider rescheduling for a later date.
3/13/2020 – Zamley and Grace Sausa, GBBI missionaries in Thailand, have cancelled a planned trip to their home in the Philippines. The school where Grace works will fire her if she travels to the Philippines. Sam’s school has imposed a 14-day self-quarantine without pay if he travels to the Philippines.
4/3/2020 – Zamley reports:
The Royal Thai government is implementing rules and regulation that affect all establishments except essentials. Here in Chonburi, the governor released ordinances from the city Mayor of Chonburi to ask cooperation from all residents to stay at home and to please not to travel in and out of the city, also not to accept visitors from any other cities. We were also advised to follow quarantine protocool in order to control the spreading of the virus.
Extending visas right now is very hard because the immigration authorities want the tourists to go back to their homes. If they want to extend their visa, the regular expense is doubled. There are many Filipinos and other nationalities that are in difficult situations. We also stopped our public worship because the government advised us to do so.
My wife still goes to school for reporting, despite the danger, so that she can get her salary (no work — no pay). In my case, my school assured us through the month of April. If the school is still closed in May, however, there is a big possibility that my school will not give us any salary until it resumes.
Thailand cases have reached 1,771 and 10 deaths. They are targeting to contain and control the spread of the virus by April 30.
3/21/2020 – Steve Indino, GBBI missionary in the Philippines, reports: “My ministry has been greatly affected by the current situation. Due to it, my ministry’s plans and speaking engagements have been put to a halt. But this has not hindered us to continue to make preparations and be ready to start working when the lockdown is over.”
3/24/2020 – Carlo and Elma Paña, GBBI missionaries in the Philippines, report: “We didn’t go to church as the President declared an Enhanced Community Quarantine nationwide. Only one person in every family can go out to buy food and medicine. Charael [their son] is still working but physical distancing is a must. All conferences were cancelled here in the Philippines. Some pastors didn’t obey and were arrested.”
3/25/2020 – “Paul” and “Sarah”, our missionaries in a closed Communist country, report that the government has acknowledged the first cases of coronavirus there. Schools are closed. The international church has suspended its services and they have postponed their online Bible school classes.
3/13/2020 – The planned trip by several GBBI board members to Southeast Asia in April has been cancelled.
COVID-19 Prayer Requests and Updates
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COVID-19 Medical Fund
In anticipation of COVID-19 infections among our missionaries and the churches where they minister, we have started a relief fund. Money from this fund will be used only for medical treatment of confirmed cases of COVID-19 where there is a clear financial need.
As a donor, you will receive an email update whenever money is distributed from this fund to give you specific details about the recipient.
At this time we are trying to raise $2,000.
Donations by Mail
Checks can be sent to the mission address:
1732 State Highway 13
Friendship, WI 53934
Make your check payable to GBBI and note that it is for our COVID-19 Fund.