March 19, 2020
To All My Adventist Brothers and Sisters Across Guam-Micronesia Mission:
As I pen this letter, my heart is burdened for you and your families as I know that this coronavirus crisis will be directly affecting each of your lives if it is not doing so already. For many of your islands, the impact of the virus to daily life may still be relatively small and the reality of major changes are hard to imagine. For us in Guam, the reality of change is settling in as the situation is changing rapidly as more cases of the virus are confirmed here faster than we had hoped.
In some ways, we face an uncertain future as we are not able to predict what tomorrow or even the next hour holds. In other ways, as believers in Jesus Christ and as those who trust in God’s prophetic word, the future is clear. Jesus taught us to expect the signs of His coming that we are seeing today. In Matthew 24:6-8 Jesus says, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Then in verse 14 He says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” We are living in a time when the “sorrows” are increasing quickly and Jesus tells us what we should be doing during this time: sharing Him with those who don’t know Him and whose hearts are “failing them for fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26).
Some of you have shared with me that you have family members or co-workers who are deeply anxious and concerned about what the future holds. This is the time to pray with those in your circle of influence and share your favorite Bible promises with them, encouraging them to trust their lives and the lives of their loved ones to the One who alone can give them peace in the midst of this global storm. These kinds of actions are “preaching” the gospel just as much as any sermon given by your pastor. Those outside of a relationship with God are scared and very troubled, because they don’t know what the final future looks like and don’t have anywhere to anchor their hope as you do. Now is the time to share the hope that you have and to prayerfully reassure those without hope that there is a Saviour who longs to give them peace, hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). Will you join me in reaching out to those around us who are longing for peace and for an encouraging word during this difficult time? May God lead you to just such a person today as you faithfully serve Him in your island communities.
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all” (2 Tim. 3:16)
Your servant in Christ,
President, Guam-Micronesia Mission
P.S. Below are a few of my favorite Bible promises that I encourage you to share with others during these challenging times. These promises continue to be a source of courage and strength to my family and me. I hope they will be the same to you and those you love. And as you share them, don’t forget, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (Proverbs 12:25).
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." ~ John 14:27 NKJV
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33 NKJV
"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand…For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” ~ Isaiah 41:10, 13 NKJV
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." ~ Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
"Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." ~ Psalm 56:3 NKJV
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." ~ Psalm 46:1 NKJV
"I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." ~ Psalm 34:4 NKJV
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." ~ Psalm 23:4 NKJV