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We are continuing to pray for the virus situation in the United States. In Indonesia everything has been shut down and life is at a stand still in many respects, but the number of people infected and the death toll is only a fraction of what it is in the US. The US embassy in Indonesia has told all Americans to return home, but we think it would be unwise at this point in time due to the high rate of infection in the US. We also don’t want to risk contracting the virus while transiting, and then spreading it to our families after we arrive.

Face to face ministry has come to a halt over the last 7 weeks. However, I continue to record sermons for our church in Bandung (see below). Also, we’ve had some online meetings with our weekly Bible study group and prayer group. Please pray that in spite of not being able to meet and fellowship in the flesh, God’s word would continue to work in the lives of his people. 

Last week, our church gave out over 1,300 packages of basic necessities to people in the neighborhoods around the church. For three days we made packages and distributed them, going door to door with local neighborhood elected officials. I often forget about the poverty in our city, and it’s obvious that so many people are suffering due to the current economic hardship. Please pray that God would use his people to serve those in need during this difficult time. It’s often in times like this that our compassion and benevolence give credibility and weightiness to the message we proclaim. 

I’ve had the chance to do more reading than usual during this time. In April, I was able to finish the following books (most of them I had started before April):

1.    Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxes

2.    Biblical Authority After Babel by Kevin Vanhoozer

3.    One With Christ by Marcus Peter Johnson

4.    Paul: A Biography by N.T. Wright

5.    Contours of Pauline Theology by Tom Holland

6.    The Case for Miracles by Lee Strobel

7.    Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord: A Biblical Theology of the Book of Leviticus by Michael Morales

8.    The Mission of God by Christopher J.H. Wright

9.    Embracing Shared Ministry: Power and Status in the Early Church and Why It Matters Today by Joseph Hellerman

10.   Hard Fighting Soldier by David Sitton

11.   Bound for the Promised Land: The Land Promise in God’s Redemptive Planby Oren Martin

Our day to day life as a family hasn’t been significantly impacted; our helpers have not been coming every day since social distancing began, and they haven’t come at all in the last week. Otherwise, homeschooling continues as usual (the boys may be a bit more lazy than usual, though!). We’re trying to keep our sanity, get regular exercise, and continue to disciple our children. Please pray for us as we try to raise our boys in the fear and instruction of the Lord. We often feel like failures, but love, hugs, and the grace of God are strong medicine to overcome our weaknesses. 

We’re grateful for each of you and covet your prayer,

Matt G.