Thousand Hills Baptist Association
Friday, July 03, 2020

Monthly Message from the Director of Missions

May, 2020

I have  started to write this newsletter several times in the past two months. When the pandemic hit us in early March, it became questionable as to which activities and events might need to be canceled or postponed. As time marched on and the Stay at Home orders were released, I began working from home. I kept thinking “Just a few more weeks and we will be back in the office, churches will reopen and we can get a newsletter out.” Well, that turned into a couple of months instead of weeks. Almost every event we had scheduled was canceled or postponed. But now it is time to send out another newsletter even if to just say “Hey I hope you are doing ok during this national emergency.”

I lost a friend to the COVID-19 virus. Pastor Isaac Siprian, of First Baptist Church, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, lost his life due to the virus. His wife, Petra, was hospitalized with it but she has recovered. I was pastor of this church in the mid 1980’s. It was my first full-time pastorate. As we have visited back there in the past thirty years, Pastor Siprian always welcomed us and would usually have me preach when we visited. I will miss him.

Another seminary classmate and a former Iowa pastor as well as some of my extended family members have been quarantined with the virus or exposure to it. So it’s been an interesting time. So far Rachel and I are ok and we are being very cautious.

Rachel’s job in the Kirksville Primary School was on hiatus as the school closed. She had just announced her retirement effective in May. So she is back to work for a few days now to close down the classrooms. She will be retired by June but I expect she will do some substitute work in the district from time to time. It will be nice for her to be able to travel with me more often.

Many churches are reopening their facilities. We’ve helped the pastors understand the precautions that need to be in place. I think everyone has been very cooperative in this matter. Let’s hope and pray the virus is diminished and the economy recovers from the massive shutdown. I am praying for you.