Just recently we passed the ‘one-year mark’ since the Coronavirus began impacting our work as a Mission. Although these last twelve months have been frustrating, something we would never have chosen, we remember that our God is Sovereign. He is the One who declares in Isaiah 46:9b-10, ‘For I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure’. Our mortal minds cannot comprehend the sovereign purposes of our God, yet we can take great comfort in resting upon the knowledge that He is in complete control. We can reflect over these last 12 months and give thanks for what has been achieved in His goodness, praying that it will yield fruit for His glory. May the words which Joseph Hart penned in his hymn, ‘How good is the God we adore’, be ours – ‘We’ll praise Him for all that is past, and trust Him for all that’s to come’.
What is to come? In the ever-improving situation, the governments of the UK have confirmed they are ‘on track’ for their plotted route out of ‘lockdown’. With non-essential retail outlets in England, Northern Ireland and Wales reopening on Monday, 12th April, we are pleased to announce that open-airs may recommence in these areas from
this date. Scotland’s date for reopening non-essential shops is set for Monday, 26th April and, subject to the Scottish Government’s confirmation, open-airs may resume North of the border from this date.
Upon returning to the streets, we shall be ‘picking up where we left off’ in terms of our Coronavirus measures and methods. In other words, social distancing and hygiene protocols will still need to be observed and each open-air capped at two hours. A maximum of six team members (including the Evangelist/Associate worker) can operate in venues that can sustain a larger presence on the street without impeding social distancing. For this reason, the recommended size of a team in most areas remains at four (including the Evangelist/Associate worker). Each supporter will still need to be centrally registered, affirming their understanding and adherence of the current measures in place.
As a Mission we remain committed to regularly reviewing the measures in place and, when appropriate, will seek to relax restrictions. God-willing, over the coming weeks and months we want to see a gathering momentum in street evangelism as more and more open-air opportunities are resumed. In doing so, we remember the Apostle Paul’s
exhortation to the Philippians, ‘Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ’ (Philippians 1:27a).
9th April 2021