On Monday 23 March, life changed in the Derry/Londonderry and Coleraine churches, and our new 'norm' began. After entering lockdown throughout the British Isles, we were facing very challenging and difficult times ahead. Our pastor, Gideon Petersen, joined the two churches together for Zoom meetings. Six meetings were held each week during the initial lockdown.
Prayer service on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evening, a study of the gospels on Wednesday, a Sabbath school lesson on Friday evening and Worship service on Sabbath morning from 10 - 11.30. These kept our churches connected as a community of faith. It was a full itinerary that kept us focused and grounded on important issues. In these fearful times Gideon spiritually walked us through the daily challenges we faced, and as a church community we felt we were in this, all together.
We now meet four times a week encouraging and uplifting each other. We all looked forward to our friendly chats before and after each meeting. In these unprecedented times we pray daily for the dedication and commitment of the NHS and support workers, for world leaders to obtain wisdom in their decision making and for the people who have found themselves in financial difficulties. We prayed for the emotional impact it was having on so many, the suffering of so many and the terrible loss of so many. We prayed for our own personal requests and for each other.
Most importantly we praised and thanked God for His care and His love, for witnessing His power in all our lives, while trusting He will see us through. As we studied the Bible and prayed, these meetings have been a lifeline to my church family; they have inspired and uplifted me, and daily I have been challenged to strive for a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God.
In spite of what we are facing, God is in control.