March 20, 2020
Love Justice Family,
Over the last few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has come to dominate the lives of people in nearly every corner of the world. I want you to know that you have been in my heart, thoughts, and prayers. You’re an important part of the global LJI family, and now more than ever, our connectedness matters. We want to know how you are and how we can pray for you.
Even though here in Nepal, we have yet to feel the effects of the coronavirus to the extent that many of you have, we are all in this together. We believe that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
It has been a stressful, concerning, emotional, uncertain, and scary time for everyone. For most of us, our world has felt out of control. For Love Justice International, the virus was initially a concern primarily for our Asia operations, and we put contingency plans in place for our family homes, expat staff, and school. Kathmandu was rated by the Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index as the 11th most susceptible city in the world for an outbreak. But now, this has become a truly worldwide problem with many countries around the globe shutting down schools, borders, travel, and large gatherings.
At Love Justice, we are committed to doing our small part to support the measures being recommended by health experts. In some places, our transit monitors are working with local authorities to screen temperatures of people crossing the border. Our data team is studying the growth and spread of the virus to contribute to the understanding of why it is spreading so quickly in some places but not others. (Nepal borders China, but currently has no confirmed active cases of coronavirus, and there are relatively fewer cases in all the countries where we work.) And we are directing our project staff and children on how to do their part, and to follow the guidelines of health experts and local authorities. We support the robust measures being enacted around the world because we believe they have worked and are working to slow the spread of the virus.
As of today, March 20, some reports show evidence that the shutdown measures that stopped the spread in China (which had no new cases yesterday for the first time since the outbreak began) are beginning to work in the rest of the world. There is no doubt that many new cases will arise in the coming weeks as testing improves around the world and the virus continues to spread. But the rapid escalation of the seriousness of the situation we have experienced in the past few weeks will not last forever.
As much as the world has changed over the last few weeks, some things remain the same. This pandemic has been a powerful reminder of the consequences of our actions, that we all have a responsibility to do our part to help and protect humanity—especially the weak and vulnerable around us—even if it is a tremendous sacrifice. We believe in a world where human life is valued! Whether it is our own family, friends, neighbors, or community, human beings are worth protecting whatever the cost. That is what our teams are still doing every day around the globe, and what the world is collectively doing right now—joining together in unity to protect one another. And it is working.
We are so thankful for everything you are doing to share the love and compassion of Christ. Your commitment of prayer, support, and generosity for the work we continue to do in the fight against the greatest injustices is truly humbling. Thank you!
As we look to the uncertainty of what the coming weeks may bring, we are going to be sharing stories of freedom, joy, and hope—which we all could use a bit more of in these turbulent times!
President of Love Justice International