May 6, 2020
I pray and hope that this letter finds you well. I know that this pandemic has been hard on many of you and I trust the Lord is extending special measure of grace and love towards you and your family. Let me start by saying thank you for your continued prayers, we are all well.
WOODLOT CHRISTIAN PRESCHOOL
As you may know, we had to close Woodlot Christian Preschool resulting in the loss of income. Yvonne misses being in the classroom. She finds comfort and enjoyment in meeting with the preschoolers on Zoom to provide a fun and encouraging lesson. The parents are grateful for her bi-weekly sessions.
Yvonne continues to be a pillar in the family by helping the boys through assignments and giving input when needed and feeding four hungry men. I have transitioned to working from home with Woodlot and the church. Though the school is closed, we continue to pay rent, utilities, insurance and process payroll items for the employees for unemployment as well as doing all that is necessary to maintain our license. Our coffee and dining room tables have become our office desks.
Jonathan is home from Five Towns College. He continues his studies online, which has been a bit strenuous for a music education major. Yvonne and I find joy in listening to him play piano for hours both classical and Christian hymns. Jonathan misses his friends especially collaborating with those from his band. Over, the past two years Jonathan flourished socially and we are sad campus life had to come to an end for him. These days he jams with his two brothers. Thankfully, they enjoy making music together. It is a lot of fun to watch. Christopher, who commuted to and from Manhattan College, has adjusted very well to online classes, he even has online study groups. He is a super focused civil engineer student who is about to complete his sophomore year. We are very proud of his dedication. Joshua is a high school senior who unfortunately will miss out on prom, graduation and other fun. Nevertheless, we will celebrate his accomplishments together as a family. His adjustment to online studies has been challenging. However, in his defense, the classes aren’t live tutorials like the other boys. He looks forward to going for bike rides with friends while keeping socially distant, wearing mask and gloves to inspire his motivation to do his studies.
For the most part, the parishioners of the Congregation of the Messiah have been protected from the virus with the exception of Dawn Galente. Unfortunately, that is the danger all essential workers like Dawn risk.
She was admitted twice to the hospital but is home again. She continues to be contagious even after 6 weeks but we are trusting she will recover. Please continue to pray for her healing.
I have checked in with most of the congregation through phone calls, messenger, text and Facebook. I thank God that we are able to have Sunday services throughout this crisis. Tuesday Night Bible studies are done on Facebook and Thursday Night Prayer Meeting through Zoom. I want you to know that pray for you daily. I go to the church sanctuary and petition the Lord for your needs and ask Him to help us through this crisis. It seems as if, it will be some time before we will have any sense of normalcy. We can trust the Lord to provide what we need at this time. “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).
Just as an update, Westchester County has over 30,000 confirmed cases with a little over 21,000 people who have recovered. This is good news. However, of the 9,000 cases still sick, 1,116 people have died. Though the county experienced a downward trend in new cases, occasional spikes are still occurring and we expect more, with the weather warming and people venturing out.
I want you to know that in the Bible we read of many occasions where God’s people have had to faced dangers but be assured that God was always with them through it all. In the book of Isaiah, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin would experience an impending doom, God still gave them a message of hope that one day He would return them to their land and they would flourish again as a people.How are we to live through this pandemic? What is God saying to us right now? God loves you no matter what because you are His child (John 1:12; Gal. 4:7). If you are one who obeys His commands to live righteously and continue in faith, God will sustain you through this storm (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5). Therefore, draw closer to Him at this time. Likewise, regardless of what happens, God will provide for you whether it be through work or some financial program to get you through this period. Please do let us know how we might be able to help. God is more than able to accomplish what concerns you today (Psalm 138:8). As the Apostle Paul assures us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).
In Service to Christ,
Bishop David Flores, Pastor