The coronavirus pandemic has turned life upside down and inside out.
A significant number of Americans are self-quarantining, the stock market is roiling, many if not most schools are closed, tourism and travel have grounded to a halt and many states have even forced restaurants to shut down or suspend in-person dining.
As a result, families are increasingly weary, anxious, uncertain and stressed.
And that’s just after a trip to your local grocery store!
Can you relate?
By God’s grace and your support, Focus on the Family remains open for ministry and ready and eager to help families, including you and yours.
As circumstances quickly evolved last week, we made the decision, out of an abundance of caution for our employees’ personal health and the welfare of our greater community, to transition our team to work from their respective homes.
Our phone representatives are ready to answer your calls and try to meet whatever needs you and your family may be facing.
A small crew remains on site to manage some of the essentials, including our information technology experts as well as our broadcast engineering crew.
Yes, it’s disruptive and it’s less than ideal – but we’re grateful that technology is allowing us to remain connected and effective throughout this crisis.
The same ministry you’ve come to appreciate and depend on will continue in earnest – and that’s a very good thing because I believe Focus on the Family is needed more today than ever before in its 43-year history.
When traditional life is upended, stress quickly follows. We’re comfortable in our routines and enjoy the rhythms and conveniences of modern-day living. Unmet expectations can elicit frustrations and even anxieties.
If you find yourself needing guidance with homeschooling your children for the first time, we’re here to help.
If you’re not sure how to explain all of what’s going on with the COVID-19 pandemic to your children, we’re here to help.
Feeling financially stressed, afraid you’re going to run out money before the month runs out days? We’re here to help.
Maybe the crisis is revealing cracks in your marriage. We’re here to help with that, too.
At Focus on the Family, we want to help you on this difficult journey. It’s our calling. It’s our mission. And it’s our privilege.
There’s no question we’re in a difficult season and sailing uncharted waters. Lately, it seems like wind and waves of bad news continue to lash the boat, each crashing a little harder or higher than the previous ones.
Yet, the Lord remains in full and complete control.
For perspective, I’m reminded of the nearly impossible situation the early Church found itself in almost 2,000 years ago.
The early Christian Church was marked by suffering, specifically persecution, but also plagues and disease that indiscriminately ravaged populations.
One of the deadliest pandemics occurred between AD 249 and 262, where up to 5,000 people in Rome died – per day. While many non-Christians concentrated on saving only themselves, it was the Christians who remained and served those who were suffering. They made a tremendous impact. In fact, some believe their heroism was rewarded in the form of building up personal immunity to the disease.
A similar scenario occurred a century later, and Julian, the Roman emperor at the time, lamented that the church’s growth was due to Christians’ “benevolence to strangers, their care for the graves of the dead, and the pretended holiness of their lives.”
Emperor Julian was disgusted, not just by their charity and sacrifice – but by the absence of the equivalent bravery of his own people.
“For it is a disgrace that . . . the impious Galileans [Christians] support not only their own poor but ours as well,” he said.
The current coronavirus crisis we find ourselves in may not rise to the level of what the early Christian Church faced. Nor am I suggesting believers need to flood hospitals to help, though there are so many ways we can lend a hand.
Canvass your neighborhood and check on the elderly who live near you. Might you run an errand for them? Pick up some groceries or medicine? We know they’re highly vulnerable to this virus and need special care and protection.
I believe the comparison to the early Church is instructive because it reminds us that strife and struggle need not slow us down – nor impede the mission of a ministry that’s ordained by God to bring Good News to a hurting world.
As this situation continues to unfold, as well as twist and turn, may we model the courageous and sacrificial attitude of our brothers and sisters in the early church.
Please continue tuning in to our radio broadcast and look for extra video and audio content that we’ll be sharing through all our social media channels in the coming days, weeks and months. We want to be helpful.
We’re all in this together, and we’ll all get through it together. Please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can assist you and your family. And please join me in praying for a miraculous and positive turn of events in this unprecedented global crisis.