Dear PRN friends,
Just a few days ago we celebrated Easter. Christ is risen! Yet many of us don’t feel this typical joy that Easter normally features. Corona, a tiny little virus, has dominated our everyday life worldwide. Countries were locked down and their people sent into quarantine. More than two million Covid19-cases und almost two hundred thousand fatalities on this planet were caused by it. Never have I seen something like this in my lifetime of 65 years. A worldwide pandemic tries to seize our wellbeing, our freedom, even our lives.
Here in Germany Mr Eberhard Jung, Director of the PRN Foundation, has fallen ill with Covid-19. His condition was critical and filled me with concern. And from the mission fields we receive bad news on a daily level. We have celebrated Easter, yet our hearts keep singing songs of lamentation rather than of jubilee.
However, this virus cannot change the fact that our Redeemer lives! In the midst of crisis, we also hear some good news: believers on all continents get going and support their neighbours; they sew face masks; they serve the afflicted, the poor and the fragile; they help out in clinics and hospitals, and so on. I am deeply grateful for their service. And equally touched I read about the slums of our mega-cities. Even really poor Christians share the little they have with their neighbours, like food and clean water. And we see miracles happening too: bread is increased, water gets clean and infected people who weren’t accepted at the local hospital are healed because believing Christians prayed for them and laid hands on them.
Easter really is a festival of life even though a never-felt crisis is raging among us. So let us keep celebrating in our hearts still and bow to worship the risen King and Lord, Jesus Christ.
In February, PRN together with the Evangelical Alliance of Mali founded the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation in the facilities of the Theological Seminary FATMES. Even when the corona outbreak started, their faculty worked on the first courses to take place in October this year. Translation into the French language has started as well. We very much hope that donors will start giving for this project after the end of the pandemic.
There is great encouragement from Nepal these days. We can see wonderful fruit from the peace ministry in Nepal’s churches that could be established during the past years. The present crisis produces neither hamster purchases nor a lacking of funds in the generally poor churches. The believers consider the crisis rather as a chance to offer help.
Riga, Latvia. The reconciliation process started by PRN between the Russian and the Latvian population had to be suspended. The conference for Christian leaders in Latvia planned for April is postponed now. However, a growing prayer movement around this topic has taken shape. This is quite a ray of hope.
The founding of a Peace and Reconciliation Training Centre in the Estonian capital planned for May this year will take place in the fall. Christian believers in the country have firm plans for its realization.
Trainings on practical reconciliation in Sofia in May cannot happen as planned. We hope to take up the operation of the training centre again in the fall of 2020.
Since February PRN Global had to quit all its financial support for Eastern Europe. Fulltime staff had to be dismissed as most donors have ended their contributions with the outbreak of the Corona disease. But we won’t give up on that region.
In Chishinau, in the Ukraine and in Russia all reconciliatory talks and therapeutic services were switched to digital mode. And it is amazing to see how people still accept and use these services.
In Tashkent believers engaged in peace ministries organize neighbourhood support and are quite happy about the demand on the part of their Muslim fellow citizens.
Similar news come from all our Eastern European centres and beyond. Of course, our leaders there aren’t happy about the missing financial support. Very often even the most needed things are lacking. But people who love and get active for other people will even walk the second mile. Thanks be to God!
The Latin American Peace Conference in that city planned for July was cancelled due to Corona and will most likely be held in 2021. Unfortunately, preparing the conference has produced costs that only increase the present financial burden.