First Focus


It is easy at this time of isolation to feel that, “I am the only one enduring in (fill in the blank).” We have four teams that have been sent out that cover pretty much the entire globe. I asked each team to offer an update on what they were experiencing and how we could pray for them. Below is their response. I pray this is an encouragement to you as we endure this pandemic on a global scale. All of our teams have elected to remain in their current locations and continue their work.

— Terry Delaney

The Mason Family: They are on lockdown. People under the age of 20 are not supposed to leave their homes. They ask for prayer as they continue to learn the language. Due to social distancing, they have not been able to practice what they are learning which is crucial to the process of learning a new language. Also, some of their team was on a regularly scheduled furlough out of the country and are unable to rejoin the work due to the shutdown.

The Mello Family: They are on a more rigorous lockdown than what we are experiencing here. For example, there was one citizen who was arrested for taking medicine to an elderly family member without prior approval. The majority of the citizens do not have health insurance and are therefore unable to stay in the local hospital and the state-run hospital system is ill-equipped for any large outbreak let alone a pandemic. Most of their work has ground to a halt due to the shutdown though they continue to meet with their new plant via zoom. They have gained approval from the government to deliver food to the needy in the last few days and have already exceeded their capacity to help as an organization.

The Shefferman Family: They are on lockdown in their city. They cannot drive except for emergencies and can only walk to get essential groceries. Their internet has enabled them to continue in their work as well as allow the children to attend school via Zoom. Adam has an immunity disorder. It is vital he does not get coronavirus. Andrea and the children’s visas expire on June 1. Usually, they must renew their visas inside their home country. They would rather not travel at this time.

The Sroka Family: They have been on lockdown since March 18. There is a great concern for their health care system if the pandemic were to break out in their country. They are restricted from traveling into local villages and some of the villages do not even have the ability to communicate outside their village. Thanks to an invitation, however, they were able to leave some food and provisions as well as study materials; the community needed much more than what could be provided though. They ask for prayer as they navigate the new approaches to their work and adjust to the children’s schooling needs.