Dear Family and Friends,
With news from around the world, I think we can all say that we are in unprecedented times. Who would have thought our new year and Spring would be like this?
We have had no prayer meetings in the European Parliament (EP) since the end of February. In early March, it was announced that all external visitors were not able to be signed-in to the EP to avoid the spread of the corona virus. Then EP employees were given the option to work from home. On the other hand, the EP prayer meetings have been taking place using ZOOM on the Internet – for 4 weeks already. Thank God for such advanced technology.
My church, Vineyard Brussels, which has about 500 people, decided to not meet in person since March 8th when we were asked not to meet in groups of 100 or more. We’ve been live-streaming the Sunday sermon with worship, morning devotionals, morning exercises, and evening prayers throughout the week. Again, thank the Lord for advanced technology and those with the know-how in the body of Christ!
We in Belgium have been asked officially since 18 March to stay home and go out only to the grocery store, pharmacy, banks, post office… for essentials and for a walk. If you live alone, you can go for a walk with only 1 other person. We’re asked to keep a distance of 1.5 meters (about 1.5 yards) from each other. Families can go for walks together though. One day I walked with a friend to a small park at the top of my street. The park was filled with people, kids with parents. The police stopped a mom playing badminton with her daughter. Being in the park is usually pleasant, but this was not.
Last week we received an extension of the stay at home decree from the Interim Prime Minister, for us to continue as is until May 4th. Nurseries for gardening and hardware stores opened Monday (April 19th) so people can do their gardening and DIY.
Interestingly, Belgium has not had a stable federal government since the elections in May 2019 due to party differences. When the threat of the corona virus spreading, the Interim Prime Minister, Sophie Wilmes, joined with other political figures and have agreed on what to do to help keep Belgium and its residents safe and healthy. There has been an unprecedented agreement going on in the federal government that is worth noting. I’m also amazed at how obedient the people living in Belgium have been.
I read from friends in the US on Facebook that many people are unemployed. Here, many people are working from home, of course depending on their profession.
Last week another group of us (four women) started praying for Belgium via ZOOM.
It sounds strange, but for me it’s stressful deciding when to go grocery shopping, to the bank, and to the pharmacy. I have to take public transportation to the bank and pharmacy, but can walk to the grocery store. I am avoiding taking public transportation during the busy times of the day when people are perhaps traveling for work as no masks are to be found in Belgium. Also, we’re asked to be in the grocery store for a maximum of 30 minutes. I am often forgetting a few items even though I have a list. I think it’s the stress.
We’ve been enjoying a lot of sunshine and warmer temperatures here in Brussels lately so that’s a plus. With Spring comes extra tree pollen and hay fever. Pollution is less in the city with fewer cars driving around.
The National Day of Prayer for Belgium is scheduled for this coming Saturday, April 25th and will also be held online via ZOOM. I have a sense that more people who would not have normally planned to attend the National Day of Prayer will join now. This could generate more prayer than if it was held in a church.
I am continuing along, trying to lose weight, eat right, and exercise. I am taking some new medicine to help combat diabetes. Plus I am dealing with hay fever due to the high tree pollen.
Will you pray that I can continue to be disciplined enough to eat right, exercise, and be healed of diabetes, respiratory problems and heart weakness with no long-term problems?
I had to purchase a new laptop the beginning of March as my hard disk was lagging so much and had too many errors. Replacing it couldn’t wait until my trip to the US this Fall. Please pray that extra money will come in to help pay for that extra expense.
Will you pray that my support will increase and my expenses decrease?
May God’s Kingdom come here on earth as it is in Heaven!
Thank you so much for your prayers, friendship and support. Your partnership is so important to me. I love and appreciate each of you so much.
Love in Christ,
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About Carol Britton
Carol’s passion is strengthening Believers to take their place in society – to make a difference wherever they are, living their Christian lives more fully and being an influence for the Kingdom of God in the workplace. Her desire is for believers to learn to invite Jesus into every situation and pray into the injustice they see and experience even in their jobs.