CORONA VIRUS UPDATES
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We regret that from March 18th 2020 until further notice no gatherings will take place due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. This includes Sunday worship as well as weekly activities. Activities will be convened as much as possible via video connection (e.g. Zoom).
Details are shared on the ICF Whatsapp group. In case you are a member of ICF and you want to join this Whatsapp group, please contact one of the persons below with *
ICF-Enschede calls on everyone to follow the directives of the government. For English instructions, please see the UT webpage, the health authorities RIVM website and also take note of the speech of our Prime Minister.
We are in the process to set up (audio) messages for Sundays, together with some praise songs this will be posted on Whatsapp group and on this website.
In case you are lonely, worried, you have questions, problems, need help, or just need someone to talk to for a chat, the following persons are ready to receive your call or message:
*Somto Enendu: +31685281678; email@example.com
*Jan Maarten Lubberts: +31638593425; firstname.lastname@example.org
Henk-Jaap & Mieke Luiten-Olieman: +31640960750; HJenM@lekkerluiten.nl & +31618464343
Rev. Josine van der Horst: +31623331281; email@example.com
Some activities you could still do in this time of isolation:
Keep some physical exercise, for example, go outside for a walk every day and discover the Dutch spring season starting with flowers, singing birds (especially early in the morning) and hopefully some more rays of sunshine!
How about “the Emmaüs walk”: Walk outside with a friend (on 2 armlengths distance) and start a conversation about a topic in the Bible, just like the 2 disciples did walking from Jerusalem to Emmaüs (and back!). Luke 24:13-35 Be assured that the Scriptures will be opened for you (vs. 32).
Or Try the schedule below to stay emotionally, physically and mentally grounded.
"When fear knocks your door, let faith be the answer!" Kwame Aviane, based on 2 Tim. 1:7
Dear friends near and far, I hope you are well.
I would like to share this prayer with you all...
Rev. Josine van der Horst
“Dear God, each life is precious in Your eyes. Help us to accept the challenge of this virus. Help us to protect the healthy, to calm and offer courage to those who are afraid. Help us to support all those who care for the sick. Help us to be patient now that we cannot do our work as before. Enable us to offer our energies, our creativity and our solid trust in the mystery of Your Love. We pray for our families and friends. Will You protect them, Lord. For all those who worry about our wellbeing, will You lift them up with courage and strength, renew in our loved ones the spirit of hope, surround them and us with Your Love and Your Light. That we may know within ourselves Your peace and forgiveness.. that a new understanding may arise in us of Your will for our lives, for Your church, Your world, Your creation. That we may prepare Your way for You, Lord Jesus! In Your name, we pray. Amen”
Dear ICF brothers and sisters,
“But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home.”
This verse from John 16:32a is a vivid illustration of the dire situation we find ourselves in today, being scattered and isolated (for valid reasons) but nevertheless alone. Alone? Well, Jesus was deserted, we read in the continuation of the same verse: “You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” (John 16:32b) It is not insignificant that we experience the coronavirus crisis in the time of Lent.
A period of isolation may help us to review our priorities, realise what we take for granted. It may bring us closer to the Lord, help us to really focus on Him… “the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him…” Isa. 53:5b Hear Him cry out on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mat. 27:46 And what does He promise to us?
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5 quoted from Deut. 31:6). We can still be sure of this thing: He will be with us, and He is ready to minister to us and help us minister to others. We can pray (see the prayer above from rev. Josine), we can read the Bible, we can sing, we can walk outside and talk (the last at a proper distance or by chat/skype) besides our daily work from home. It is a strange situation, nevertheless, we know He is in control and will make all things well.
The verse quoted at the start of this short exhortation is succeeded by this one:
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 We look forward to meeting again in Church and at the other weekly activities of ICF!
Surely, we learn to value now more what we often take for granted…. to meet each other.
God bless you richly in this uneasy period of Lent 2020,
On behalf of ICF support group and leaders ICF, Paul van Dijk