As workers in Paraguay navigate the changes in their personal lives and ministry caused by the new coronavirus, they also see how God continues to provide in different ways.
Rodrigo is one of the local workers leading the service centre ministry for Latin America. His team has been running the service centre for almost one year, providing technical support for the area. The centre acts as a hub to create a greater capacity for areas in ministry that may lack manpower, such as database follow-up, personnel and finance roles. Rodrigo noted that though his team has always worked online, not being in the same room working together has been a challenge for them. Increased demand on internet services has caused some workers to struggle with the instability of the internet, which further adds to their frustrations. To cope, they virtually meet every week to stay connected and encourage each other.
Despite these challenges, Rodrigo expressed that he can see how God is blessing them and that they have a lot to be grateful for. “Some workers who lived away from home, are now back home with their family. This is a blessing for them to be able to spend extended quality time with their loved ones,” he noted. Rodrigo also sees the blessing of being able to spend more time with God and rest during the quarantine.
The team in Paraguay not only serve in full-time ministry but also have secular jobs or are still in university. As such, their financial support comes partially from their jobs which are currently being affected by the coronavirus. For Rodrigo, his virtual work of providing services that help businesses improve their online presence was impacted. “I recently lost a very important business contract because a lot of companies are downsizing due the global financial instability,” said Rodrigo.
Though he has lost some financial stability, Rodrigo continues to be thankful that his other business contracts are still intact. Other team members are also seeing God’s provision. “One of my co-workers owns a shoe store that has been closed for weeks now because of the lockdown. However, they are thankful God is providing an income for them through other avenues,” he explained.
The ban on public events and group gatherings has led to a drop in financial support for the country leader as he runs a photography business but on the other hand, another team member continues to bring in a steady income from his farming business. As team members see losses and gains in their finances and relationships, they continue to be committed to serving God despite the circumstances.
“Our prayer right now is to draw closer to God because we know he is still in control. We have a role to play in our society during these peculiar times, and we are seeking God to show us our role,” said Rodrigo.