Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation – Habakkuk 3:18
Venezuelans believe that faith in the power of God strengthens, and in this country we are most definitely feeling that strength. We therefore thank God for another month where, regardless of the circumstances, our hearts continue to rejoice.
Humanly speaking, joy is associated with good news and positive change, while little change and bad news creates a forum for sadness. In this context, we should be sad because Venezuela’s situation remains characterised by scarcity, insecurity, high inflation, lagged wages, and the impact of COVID-19; however, our hearts are happy because we are strengthened by the word of God which tells us, that in the midst of problems and difficulties, it is possible to find happiness and joy.
Earlier in the month, gasoline finally arrived to replenish gas stations; thankfully we were able to fill our cars. And, with the arrival of gasoline came a relaxation in social quarantine measures allowing us to visit some of our NPI pioneers and check-in on the progress of some of their works. It was gratifying to see first-hand that, despite all present challenges and obstacles, they were happy.
We even visited three pioneers working remotely in the middle of nowhere who had managed, pre-COVID-19, to gather almost 100 people under the trees!
It brings us such joy to see success in this type of work but with the ongoing gasoline shortage and an increase in COVID-19 cases, the government has once again tightened social quarantine measures. We have heard however, there will be another easing so we are already scheduling other visits.
Unfortunately, this imminent relaxation does not include the reopening of churches. Despite this, and in the most distant places, missionaries and pioneers continue to carry out their work in people’s homes. Always in small numbers, and with great care and precaution, people are listening to the word of God and accepting Jesus.
Many people have been reconciled and churches strengthened through one-on-one phone calls, written messages, short-videos (due to our limited internet capacity in many places), and through social networks.
We continue to believe that true joy comes when we set our eyes on God and not on our difficulties. We are therefore strengthened by his presence and sure that in the end we will be victorious.