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

Thailand:

 

10/22/2021 – Zamley and Grace Sausa, GBBI missionaries in Chonburi, report:

Thailand logged 9,930 new Covid-19 cases and 97 more fatalities during the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry announced on Monday morning.

There were 9,568 cases in the general population and 362 among prison inmates. On Sunday, 12,336 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering from the coronavirus.

Although new cases in the country dropped below 10,000 again and deaths numbered fewer than 100, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Monday afternoon reiterated concerns about the situation on southern provinces, including those in the far South.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand released a slew of press releases yesterday declaring a broad revision to Sandbox and entry programs and making it easier for international travelers to enter Thailand. The two biggest revisions that just went into effect are the abolishment of an approved country list for travelers to arrive from, and shortening arrival quarantine times from 14 days to just one week.

 

8/17/2021 – Zamley and Grace Sausa, GBBI missionaries in Chonburi, report:

Presently, Thailand ranks at the 35th place for highest infections in the world, but the death ratio reveals that Thailand only has 89 deaths per 1 million of the population. As of 11 August 2021, a total 48,016 foreign nationals from all age groups have registered via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ “expatvac.consular.go.th” platform. CCSA has asked those who have registered to be patient in waiting for their appointments for the vaccination. The number of new confirmed cases in Thailand today is 21,038 cases, with 210,042 active cases and 22,012 new recoveries. 207new fatalities were registered today, with an accumulated total of fatalities at 6,795. Bangkok still sees the highest fatality rate and most fatalities are people at the age of 60 and over and have underlying diseases.

Bangkok continues to see the highest number of infections today at 4,525 cases. At the same time, the number of infections in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, as well as those designated as highly maximum controlled areas are stabilizing, while some provinces are already seeing a decline in the number of infected Covid-19 patients. The number of patients with critical conditions and fatalities are also flatlining in Bangkok and adjacent provinces, and in every region. Schools are closed. Teachers are forced to work from home. Establishments are closed such as malls, restaurants, etc. Only essentials are allowed to operate. Some schools are closed for good this year and some schools including my school will deduct our salary 20% starting this month. But we continued our ministry such as online worships and online bible studies.

A Closed Country:

10/1/2021 – “Paul” and “Sarah” report:

The government has ordered a lockdown since April 2021, and almost all of the jobsites specially schools have been closed for 5 months now. Our brethren here are in need of your help and prayers. They are in need of basic support like rice and groceries. If you can spare a little amount that would impact their life.

If you would like to help with this need, you can use the Donate button at the top of this page and designate your gift for “Paul and Sarah”.

8/17/2021 – “Paul” and “Sarah” report:

Our country is still under lockdown situation, although Covid 19 case isn’t increasing rapidly. Offices, stores, and other establishment are open but they must follow certain protocol prescribe by the government. Kindergarten schools, elementary and high school aren’t open yet. Gathering are allowed but very limited people and follow certain rules.

Our ministry now is on hold because of this pandemic. Our international service is still close except for our local service. My local leader is still doing Sunday service on his small group ministry.

8/4/2020 – Please continue to pray for the daughters of “Paul” and “Sarah”.  They had tests this week and one of the girls tested positive for COVID-19.  She has been in self-quarantine for 19 days and now has only a runny nose.

Philippines:

9/3/2021 – We are sad to report that Pastor Carlo Paña is also now with the Lord after a long battle with COVID.  Thank you for so many who prayed and helped to meet the medical expenses.  Earlier this week we held an online memorial service for the Paña’s, which you can view on Facebook.

8/15/2021 – Please continue to pray for Pastor Carlo Paña who is still hospitalized and in serious condition.

8/2/2021 – We are sad to report that Elma Paña has passed away and is now with the Lord.  Please pray for the Lord’s comfort for Pastor Carlo and their son Charael.  We thank the Lord for Elma’s many years of faithful service and we all will miss her greatly.

Pastor Carlo is still in the hospital and in serious condition.

7/23/2021 – Carlo and Elma Paña, GBBI missionaries near Cebu City, Philippines, have been admitted to the hospital with serious cases of COVID.  They are both in stable condition, but are still in serious condition.  In addition, they are incurring some high medical bills.  Please pray and if you can help financially, please use the Donate button above or send checks to the mission address.

Indonesia:

8/17/2021 – Ella Indino has recovered and is home from the hospital.

8/2/2021 – Ella Indino, missionary in Manado, has been admitted to the hospital with a confirmed case of COVID-19.  Ella is very weak and tired.

Mario and Ella have been apart for 18 months, with Mario in the Philippines and Ella in Indonesia.  COVID restrictions have made travel between the two countries impossible.  But Mario is hopeful that he will be able to get a visa on humanitarian grounds, based on Ella’s condition.  Please pray for Mario and Ella and the rest of the Indino family.

Nigeria:

6/17/2020 – Princeton Waters reports:

In our last year Bible conference in Jos, it was decided that this year’s conference will be held in a different city and Benin City was chosen. A planning committee was inaugurated and started work immediately. Work has reached advanced level for this year’s conference. The Covid 19 is a game changer; however, we are still hoping that things will normalize before the date of the conference which is in November 2020. Exact date yet to be decided. For the past two years we have Pastor Richard Church come and he is such a blessing to us. But with the situation on ground it will be better to start thinking about how he or someone else will come. The planning committee is really working hard and we are expecting 300-400 pastors this year.

5/6/2020 – Princeton Waters reports:

Some salient points about the Wuhan virus pandemic:

  • Population: 200 million
  • Samples tested to date: 18,536 representing 0.009%  of our population
  • Confirmed cases: 2, 802 which is 15% of total samples tested
  • Active cases: 2,292 representing 12% of total samples tested and 82% of confirmed cases
  • Discharged cases: 417 representing 2% of samples tested and 15% of confirmed cases
  • Deaths: 93 which is 0.5% of all samples and 3.3 % of confirmed cases.

We are sitting on a keg of gun powder…

From this analysis it can be inferred that there are more unidentified cases of Wuhan virus in the population, even though I cannot confirm this,  but our test coverage is grossly inadequate and extremely low.

The economic effect of the Covid19 lockdown is been felt more and more everyday. 

Another issue here is the Islamic factor in handling the Covid19 issue. All the medical procedures of handling a victim they are saying are un-Islamic.

The government have imposed a curfew. Also, inter-state transport is closed and this has a great impact on the life of people.

Cultural trends, beliefs and systems are not helping matters either. For example, many people in the rural areas believe the Covid19 is a disease for city dwellers.  Some said it is for the rich and highly placed people and not for the poor.

On the spiritual front, some people are still thinking that it is a punishment from God because of our sins.  Crazy prophecies from the pento-charismatic circles are still ongoing about the Covid19. Some citing dates that it will be finished, some telling people to do one thing or the other. One incident I find bizzare is the one which some Pastors are telling people to open certain chapters  of the Bible and they will find strands of human hairs, they should take it and boil it and drink as cure and protection for Covid19!

The good thing is that people are open to hear the Gospel. We have been sharing the gospel with many people through social media channels.  The response is very good.

On a sad note I want to end this by reporting the death of one of our grace friends who died in simply in his sleep not long ago.
 
Remember Waters had mild pneumonia and he has been treated and he is getting better.

Papua New Guinea:

6/2/2020 – Wesley Tobon, GBBI missionary in the city of Vanimo, reports that effects from COVID are limited with only 8 positive cases.

USA:

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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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.

 

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.

Donations by Mail

Checks can be sent to the mission address:

GBBI
1732 State Highway 13
Friendship, WI 53934

Make your check payable to GBBI and note that it is for our COVID-19 Fund.