Locked In But Not Locked Out … FEIC Member Churches Thrive During COVID-19 Lockdown
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept through Europe months ago, national lockdowns became the norm. Government officials restricted individual movement and group gatherings to minimize the spread of the virus.
But that hasn’t stopped the church from being the church! FEIC member churches across Europe – and even Northern Africa – continue to meet and minister online throughout the lockdown.
Over the next few days, the FEIC communications team will release a series of brief interviews with a number of pastors from our member churches on how they are coping with lockdown, how they are keeping ministry going, testimonies of what God is doing in their church and city, and what they’ve learned through this unprecedented experience.
We hope you enjoy this series we’re calling: ‘Locked In But Not Locked Out … FEIC Member Churches Thrive During COVID-19 Lockdown’
Jeff Slaughter for FEIC
Lockdown in Andalusia, Spain: José María Almarza Cano
FEIC: Are you having services online and if so, how is this going for your church? What kind of engagement are you getting? What has surprised you about having services online?
José: Yes, we are. So far it is going well. We are happy with the engagement, it could be better, but we are content. Our surprise is to see some people that are connecting now more than before the confinement.
FEIC: Since you started having services online, what have you learned that works and doesn’t work? Anything you can share could be helpful to someone else.
José: It does not work to take for granted that people already know how to do things. We constantly have to be reminding people about how to behave online, especially when it comes to praying online…. prayers have to be short and concise… but there are always people that think they are having their personal devotional!!!
FEIC: Can you share a testimony or two about what God has done for you, your family and your church during this time?
José: The testimony is that the church stands in the midst of this crisis… that is not a little thing. On a more personal note, my mother was at a nursing home and docens of old people got the Covid19. My mom, who is almost 94, did not contract the virus and we, FINALLY!! were able to take her out of the nursing home in time.
FEIC: Do you and/or your church have any specific prayer requests you would like to share?
José: Yes, please, thanks. Pray for God to add to the pastoral staff at ANCF, to complete what is lacking. For wisdom and renewed strength to face the immediate future and for wisdom and direction concerning the future of the church and concerning our own lives (Carlota and José). For a renewed hunger and thirst for the Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit and for wisdom and power for us to teach the church and to lead the church in that direction.