We talked to pastors from Spain and Italy about their experience, which might be the North American experience in just a few weeks.
European countries have become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, with both Italy and Spain surpassing China in the number of deaths from COVID-19. While we hope and pray they are finally reaching their peak in the rate of new cases per day, it is still too early to tell.
Leaders around the world are now looking to these European countries for lessons on how to effectively respond to the outbreaks happening in their own countries. And if the rate of new cases does not slow down in the United States, experts are telling us we are probably just a few weeks away from experiencing much of what is happening right now in Italy and Spain.
This week, the Send Institute hosted a Zoom call with pastors, church planters, and missionaries in Italy and Spain to show solidarity and to glean from them how to prepare North American churches for the next few weeks.
The resounding theme from the call was: Get ready.
Francis Arjona, who is the Director of European Christian Mission Spain, gave us a sobering assessment of what is happening right now, “To my friends in North America, the whole system here is collapsing. The hospitals have collapsed. The food supply has collapsed. They are overwhelmed and inundated.”
And while the situation in North America is still early and maybe (we hope) not yet as dire, we should prepare ourselves and heed the words our fellow Christians in Europe have for us.
Pastors Should Take Social Distance Seriously
Ron Anderson, Lausanne Catalyst for Church Planting in Europe, has been a missionary to Europe since 1978. He lives in Madrid which is considered ground zero for the virus in Spain. Ron works with pastors and leaders all over Europe and is seeing the detrimental effects of pastors not taking …