Six Lessons From The Coronavirus

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The world is settling into a  new normal, defined by an invisible virus that managed to find its way to almost every country on earth. It has confined hundreds of millions of people to their homes and made it almost impossible to go about their business and make a living. As the new uncertainties of life settle in, our generation is forced to learn some painful lessons.

1. Crisis can come out of nowhere. At first the world knew next to nothing about the Chinese region of Hubei. But in today’s interconnected world something happening anywhere can disrupt life everywhere. This runs counter to our generation’s narrative that our institutions and technologies guarantee a level of control over the environment like never before. This is our time of “peace and safety,” until what seemed inconceivable suddenly became reality. The apostle Paul suddenly has total relevance, and destruction suddenly strikes just as “people are saying, ‘Peace and safety’” (1 Thess. 5:3).

2. Things can happen very fast. The speed of this catastrophe leaves us dizzy. On January 1 the public had never heard about the “novel coronavirus.” On February 27, United States President Donald Trump was still saying, “It’s like a miracle. It will disappear.” With only 60 cases in the country, that seemed easy to say. Today, all Europe, most of America, and almost every country on earth is under orders to stay at home. Events accelerate dramatically. What was true yesterday is no more today. Overnight, Ellen White’s words gained burning actuality: “Plagues and judgments are already falling. . . . The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. . . . The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.”1

3. Freedom of movement can be lost overnight. Almost overnight, countries shut down their borders. Air travel, so vital to the global economy, came to a screeching halt. Thousands traveling abroad either rushed to airports in the hope of making it on the last flight out, or resigned themselves to staying where they were for an undetermined period of time. Some missionaries who wanted to leave their country of service missed the last flight out. Others just made it. What a lesson to remind us that such will be the end of the time of probation: “When probation ends, it will come suddenly, unexpectedly.”2

4. Ethnic and social hatred quickly reappear. Leading newspapers have both reported and themselves been criticized for “shocking” levels of racism and verbal and physical abuse against Chinese and Asian people once the coronavirus showed up in Western countries.3 Jesus warned His disciples of coming human and natural disasters. Also, of persecution and death, “hated by all nations,” because of Him (Matt. 24:9). Persecution is not new. But human reactions against people who had nothing to do with the pandemic show how quickly irrational hostility, attacks on innocent neighbors, can spring up and flourish, even against those who are trying to serve and help. Today it’s the Chinese; one day it will be those who choose to remain faithful to God’s Word.

5. There are things that humans cannot control. The past decade has vastly increased our perception that we can quickly find answers to almost all our problems. “Just google it” has become the mantra of the day. Our ability to find solutions to complex problems, thanks to digital technology and its global reach, has given us the illusion of being “masters of the universe.”

But the novel coronavirus, deadly and invisible to the naked eye, with as yet no vaccine or effective therapy in sight, wakes us up every morning wondering: will it be life today? Sickness? Worse?

My generation has never been confronted on such a scale with the unwelcome thought that we are mortal after all. Who can say with certainty whether we are still going to be around in 14 days? And what about the looming, cascading consequences some are predicting long-term: after the health crisis a global economic crisis, after a global economic crisis, national debts skyrocketing and countries defaulting, then political turmoil and the collapse of global cooperation.4

If this is not the time to deepen our sense of dependence on God, then when will it be? For the first time perhaps, my generation can experience what is described in the book of Revelation, not as an abstract prophecy, but as a reality that is felt and experienced in the here and now.

6. This earth is not our home. With so much uncertainty looming, it seems that we are being shaken awake from our slumber. We were being seduced into thinking that the prosperity and peace we enjoyed for the past 10 years or so was our due reward for the collective decisions of our national communities—political, technological, and social—and that these fruits would be enjoyed long into the future. But as C. S. Lewis wrote: “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”5

Perhaps, before God can rouse a deaf world, He needs to rouse a deaf church and rekindle in us the “longing for a better country—a heavenly one” (Heb. 11:16). This is the time to connect or reconnect—via Zoom, Facebook, and hopefully soon in person—with today’s faithful believers, and stand firm with those “who have longed for His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). 

--Claude Richli is an associate secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTES
This Afternoon's Joint Worship Service (Sabbath, May 23, 2020)
You are invited to join us for a special worship service, via Zoom and YouTube, this afternoon at 5:00p.m. It will be a time of inspiration as we praise God for His blessings on our lives. The speaker will be the President of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, Dr. Peter Kerr. Music will be provided by some of our young, talented musical artistes. Join us and be blessed. Youtube.com/southbahamasconferen 
--Administration


JOIN THE 100 DAYS OF PRAYER
Sign up at: REVIVALANDREFORMATION.ORG/100DAYS 



ADVENTIST BOOK AND NUTRITION CENTER
The Adventist Book & Nutrition Center continues to serve you during our adjusted store hours: Mondays - Fridays 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Sundays - Closed. The social distancing rule will be applied during your visit. 
--ABNC Manager


BIBLE CLASS
The South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists continues its Bible Class this Sunday with a journey through the book of Revelation. On Sunday May 24, 2020  Dr. Jon Paulien, Dean of the Religion Department of Loma Linda University will the guest speaker for our Bible Series which will continue on the following dates: May 31, 2020,  June 14, 2020, June 21, 2020. It will be an extensive study on the book of Revelation and matters relating to the End-time events. The Series will be available via Zoom and on YouTube. A question and answer period will follow every presentation. For further information please contact Pastor Lynden Williams via email at [email protected] 
-- Pastor Lynden Williams, Bible Studies & Spirit of Prophecy Coordinator

 

HEALTH MINISTRIES
Nurses Appreciation
The Health Ministries Department would like to recognize all of the nurses in the South Bahamas Conference, especially Rebecca Johnson, Senior Nursing Officer and President of the Nursing Association of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. We salute you and appreciate all that you have done and continue to do. Our prayer is that almighty God will continue to hold you in the hallow of His loving, caring, gentle, compassionate, and protective hands as you work for Him in this part of the vineyard.
 --Mrs. Nathelyn LaCroix, Health Ministries Director

 

WOMEN’S MINISTRIES
Please note that due to this COVID19 pandemic, our regular submission format has changed. This week and every week thereafter, we will stay connected thorough our “Sisters for Sisters” words of empowerment and inspiration, coming from women across our Conference. The submission this week is from Mrs. Nathelyn LaCroix, Health Ministries Director.

Self-Care amidst COVID19
For the past two months, the coronavirus (also known as COVID19) has spread throughout the globe and of course, we have not been exempted.

Here are a few tips to keep your body in a healthy state:
1. Food is fuel for our bodies. The best way to fend off sickness is to make sure our bodies are strong enough to do so. Eat more fruits and vegetables and consume less processed foods and sugar or none at all.

2. The human body is made to move and being too stagnant can lead to some serious health issues. Movement increases blood flow, improving concentration, enhancing immunity, and lowering anxiety.

3. Drinking plenty of water keeps the body properly hydrated. In addition, external use of water enhances the body. Try a hot/cold shower. Three minutes hot and one-minute cold.

4. Moderate amounts of sunshine is very beneficial. Try exposing yourself to sunlight for about 20 minutes per day in the mid-morning or an hour just before sunset.

5. Total abstinence from substances that are harmful and moderate use of substances that are helpful. Alcohol, smoking, caffeine and other harmful stimulates depresses the body. Try to avoid these.

6. Breathe freely in the open air. A well-oxygenated body will enhance your health. Eight (8) hours of sleep is highly recommended. The body rebuilds while we sleep.

Why not trust in the Creator of your body? Trust Him to lead you because He knows the way. “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine” and builds all the systems of the body. Unresolved stress produces increased cortisol (stress hormone). So be loving and forgiving to others and yourself. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” Prov. 3:5&6.

Pause and Pray Wednesday
Don’t forget our weekly Pause and Pray appointment on Wednesdays at noon.
--Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, Women’s Ministries Director.



YOUTH TIDBITS
2nd AnnualL Agape Feast
On Friday night April 17th, 2020, the Youth Department held its 2nd Annual Agape Feast. The online communion service was the first of its kind led by Youth across the Conference. Over 100 youth connected with friends and family to participate in the solemn moment to remember the Lord's sacrifice of victory. The theme was ‘Just Crossing Over!’ Music ministers were Willeisha Isnord from the Francophone Adventist Church and Mark Eli from the Ebenezer Adventist Church. The vesper speaker was Elder Daran Clarke, from the Exuma District. He delivered a powerful charge and reminder that for the children of God in Jesus, we are just passing over the trials and troubles of life because we have victory in Jesus' sacrifice. Pastors Alvarico Moss, Lynden Williams and President Kenny Deveaux led out in the blessing of the emblems and prayed for the petitions of youth. Youth from other fields in the Atlantic Caribbean Union joined in the online feast.

2nd Annual Youth Retreat
Ignite 2020 (virtual via Zoom)
Theme: WHY? TRADITION VS. RELIGION
Friday, May 29, 2020 at 8:00p.m.
Sabbath, May 30, 2020 at 6:00p.m.
Guest Speaker: Pastor Seth Yelorda, Senior Pastor, Relove Seventh-day Adventist Church

Join a virtual trip through the Family of Islands! Free digital books & food vouchers! A weekend of music & worship featuring local Adventists recording artistes.


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CALL 341-4021
SUN SETS NEXT SABBATH
June 6, 2020 at 7:57p.m.

Happy Sabbath!