We asked our missionaries: In the face of the coronavirus and this global pandemic: 1.) How has life changed for you? 2.) How has your ministry changed? 3.) How are you doing? 4.) How can we pray?
Here is Jessica Newlin's response:
1.) How has life changed for you?
If we didn’t have the pandemic at the moment we would usually be helping prepare and visit students at various summer camps across Burma. So many of our students volunteer to teach others English in the summer. It’s great because a lot of them are Christian, too so they can teach bible songs and share their love for God that way. So instead of doing that I’m just living at home in TMK.
2.) How has your ministry changed?
It has been nice in a way to have a break and have life slow down. Everything here is always busy so it is a change to have things slow down so much. I am able to visit more with the other teachers here, which is good and we still do our small group at church instead of the main service, so I am able to build better relationships with the families in my cell group. I am also finding time to study Karen a little more which gives me the opportunity to build relationships with non-English speaking people in the village. I already feel like I am closer to a few of the women here that attend my cell group.
Most of the students have gone, but there are still children around and I try to share and spread the love of God through my actions and interactions with them. Some days I see too much of them, but generally it is nice to visit with them as well. It is also nice to have time to help everyone around me build their house. It helps with the community feel, and most of the ones building are in my cell group so we will all have houses near each other, which is great. Almost everyone who is building is a Christian, and it makes me happy to think of living around these people. So I would say, God is allowing me the down time to build relationships which is something I don’t get to do as much with the busy life I usually live.
3.) How are you doing?
I’m doing great. I love being here still and my health seems to be good as well.
4.) How can we pray?
Prayer for continued health is always good. I am also trying to learn more of the language and a lot of it doesn’t seem to want to stick in my brain, so prayer for that would be great as it would change the way I could do ministry. I would be able to communicate effectively with so many more people. Other than that just prayer that I am doing what God has me here to do and for the energy and strength to carry out His calling. Also the school is growing which is extremely good, but just guidance for the leaders as to what we will do with the larger numbers. This year will look different as well, and we already have students contacting us asking if we will do school at all this year.