All the brethren in Italy are doing well so far, thank God. We are contacting Church members almost daily to encourage them and to be updated on their real status. Everything is fine to date. Everyone will celebrate the Passover at home, but all of them will be able to follow the reading of the scriptures via the WebEx link, a technology that we have used here successfully every Sabbath for years.
But the situation is difficult. Tens of thousands are infected in northern Italy and the rest of Europe and, for the first time in history, 60 million Italians are in almost total quarantine to combat the spread of the virus.
All factories, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, theaters and churches are closed. The streets and squares are completely empty. Everything seems spooky, especially in the evening. We are all forced to stay at home and only one member of each family, if he or she has not been infected, can go out to buy basic necessities (food and medicine).
This experience is putting a strain on the mental and emotional state of many people. We are all like prisoners in our own homes, but it is for everyone’s protection. Our Church members trust in God’s protection and pray that this epidemic will end soon.
The methods adopted to combat this pandemic seem to mark the beginning of a new era, a sign of what will happen in the future. It has also awakened some from their spiritual lethargy so that they have turned to pray to God. Messages of prayers and thoughts that praise God arrive every day on my cell phone from our members and subscribers.
But most people continue to rely on their human strength, singing nationalistic songs: “We alone will defeat the coronavirus!” I am reminded of the Bible that says: “They did not repent of their ways” despite the plagues but, after the storm, they continued worse than before. And so they perpetuate the false idea that man can do everything. None of them say: “Let’s repent and turn to the True God, the only one who truly saves.”
As far as we are concerned, we do what is possible to avoid any contact, but what is fundamental is the protection from our God. His will be done. We, confined in our homes, continue to pray for everyone, awaiting that day when the eternal Kingdom of peace and justice will finally be inaugurated by our God.
Please, receive a big hug from all of us.