A Ministry Into the Void: Emmanuel Baptist Church in El Salvador on Reopening the Country in Times Of COVID-19

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

"See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;

 he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away."

Revelations 21:3-5 (NRSV)

This day, Monday, August 24, 2020, when economic, social and political life is restarted in our country, even when the deadly COVID-19 epidemic continues, it is advisable to say a pastoral word in the face of this situation.

1- As a country, we are entering into a new moment of restarting economic life, not by popular will, but by the inability of political will among the officials of the different powers of the state.  They were supposed to work for the good of the people, to whom they promised to serve.  However, they have exhibited petty interest of parties, and their groups of relatives.  They should be more aware of the common good of our people.

2- To restart economic life, without having at the base the rule of law, which should establish guidelines and regulations on how to handle all activities, from public transport, through activities in companies and businesses, will be like jumping blindfolded into the void.

3- The Government reports more than 24 thousand people contaminated with the virus and 654 deaths.   Those numbers are not credible.  However, our concerns surpass numbers.  Every victim brings a tragic and sad story.  There is no need to relive a tragedy because of irresponsibility from government officials.  Our citizens are being put at total risk, who, by necessity, assume these circumstances with some resignation, but with considerable skepticism and fear.

4- As the Church of Jesus Christ, we believe that the life of each person is precious and that the lives of our compatriots' sisters and brothers are above economic and political interests.

5- Our God is a God who loves Truth, Life, Justice, and Peace, and this God does NOT want to see that his daughters and sons suffer from illness and the pain of the death of a loved one.

6- In the name of the God of Life, we call for sanity, serenity, harmony, and above all things, to put aside the malice of party and group interests. We appeal to assume responsibility for the defense of the health and life of our people.

7- To all citizens in general, we urge you to:

OBSERVE WITH GREAT RESPONSIBILITY AND STRICTLY ALL THE MEASURES WE HAVE BEEN PRACTICING TO AVOID MORE COVID CONTAGIONS, AND ALSO AVOID THE TORMENT OF MORE SICK PEOPLE AND THE PAIN FOR THE LOSS OF OUR LOVED ONES.  If we do not assume every one of our preventive measures, nobody will do them for us.

We wish with all our heart that the Love of God the Father, The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the consolation and peace of the Holy Spirit be with every one of our compatriots and their families.

The Reverend Miguel Tomás Castro

General Pastor,

Emmanuel Baptist Church

San Salvador, El Salvador