How quickly things change! A few weeks ago RUF ministers and students were deep in campus ministry and preparing for spring break trips. Today most campuses are empty and will remain so for the rest of the semester. Spring breaks have been moved up and lengthened. Many schools are closed for the rest of the spring. Classes have been moved online as students complete their classes from their rooms. Meanwhile every few hours we hear new and dreadful news of the coronavirus rampaging across the globe.
In the midst of much uncertainty there remains one supreme certainty: God is in control, Jesus is building His church, and neither Satan nor coronavirus can stand against Him! RUF is confident that Jesus is with us and we can trust Him to care for us. Our ministry is rapidly changing shape, but we are unrelenting in our determination to reach students for Christ and equip them to serve.
The coronavirus is contagious before symptoms develop and is being spread by apparently healthy people. RUF has taken measures to protect our people and our neighbors:
- We are suspending all in-person group ministry activities until April 5.
- We are suspending all RUF-related travel until April 5.
- We are continuing the work of the National Office remotely indefinitely.
- Staff are to use discretion about planned one-to-one interactions and to follow social distancing practices.
These practicies are not primarily a response of fear, but of curtailing the spread of the virus.
So what are we doing? A lot! Praise God for the internet! Just as classes have moved online, so has RUF. Ministers, staff, and interns are using email, texting, and a myriad of internet programs to connect with students 1-1 and in small groups. Many RUF ministries are even holding virtual Large Group Meetings. In two weeks I will be preaching to my computer and Brown/RISD students all over the world will hear me in a virtual Large Group Meeting. We are also attending to urgent needs such as helping students move out of their dorms and assisting international students who may have no place to go.
Please join us in prayer:
- For God to halt the spread of this virus.
- For wisdom as RUF discovers ways to minister to students who are not on campus.
- For God’s power to be displayed in our weakness.
- For the lost to be saved and the saved to be strengthened.
This situation is changing every day, and RUF will adapt to changing conditions.
David Green, Northeast Area Coordinator