Missionary life in Corona times
More than a month have passed since we last updated our blog. If we then were a bit overwhelmed by moving to a new country, arranging all the practical details and working through our emotional stress, we are now in a way dazed by the crisis that have hit the entire world. In a new country. In a new language. In another kind of system and authorities.
Before Corona came and closed down our part of the world we moved to our new house and we were able to buy most of the furniture we need. The couch has not arrived yet, but we use a couple of mattresses instead. We were also blessed by a couple of larger gifts, which made it possible for us to buy a car. And, we had a chance to go to Salvador, Bahia for the bi-annual congress for our sister church CIBI. At the conference we were welcomed as new missionaries. We also had a few days of vacation. Now, as we are facing a time of quarantine and lock down, that trip means even more to us. All the other things we still need to work out, such as national registration number (RNE), bank account and national drivers license have all been postponed, since pretty much everything is closed in our city.
The kids had one week of school after our return from Salvador. It was quite a tough week, and I (Anna), spent the entire mornings at school with them. After one week we all of a sudden were informed that the school was to close for 2 weeks. To begin with without any school tasks and video lectures, but after a few days I was asked to come to school and pick up books and materials for them. So, now we are home schooling! We spend quite a lot of time every day with this. It is quite demanding since it is in a new language. We are trying to keep the Portuguese training going by watching Netflix in Portuguese, and we all keep on having our private classes as well.
Last Monday we were informed that Campinas, where we live was to be quarantined for two weeks. Shops, malls, parks, movie theatres and so on are all closed. Only grocery stores, banks and pharmacies are still open. Police are guarding the entry points into the city. We also got informed that the schools are moving their “July break” to April. That means no holiday from school this summer for the kids. And, a 4 week break in April. School holiday in quarantine. Beaches, parks, swimming pools and other places to visit all closed. But, instead of feeling frustrated, disappointed and saddened by everything we cannot do (which we of course also feel a bit), we must focus on what we can do and what we actually have. We have each other, we are not alone. We were able to move to our house where we can feel at home. We can use the time to continue learning the language. And we can allow ourselves to slow down after the first intense months. I can start working with FEPAS and the social projects in Brazil, but remotely and via WhatsApp, which is very popular here in Brazil.
We are doing well, feel calm and safe, and take one day at a time. Tomorrow we can get new information and then we have to relate to that. A Bible verse that follows me is Psalm 23; "The Lord is my shepherd, therefore I have everything I need." God is with us and He provides.