It is said of the two witnesses of Revelation 11, that they were given the power “to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they desire” (v.6). Are we saying that the current virus outbreak is God’s judgment upon the world population? Far from it, for “I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet” (Amos 7:14). Nevertheless, we can be certain that the Lord, in His sovereign will, has either sent it or allowed it, and it is here. We can also be certain that the disruption that it is causing upon the world is just a microcosm of things to come during the tribulation period, which is the context of Revelation 11. In the midst of what is taking place, we can pray that people will take it as a warning, small as it is, of the awful conditions that await those who have not heeded the message of the gospel of Christ.
Aida and I arrived in Honduras a week ago. I was ready and thankful for the opportunity to minister the Word for two full weeks, twice every night, at a conference that had been scheduled, prepared for, and for which we had prayed for a year. However, the Lord had other plans. As positive cases of the Corona Virus began to show up in Honduras, the government issued several measures that were taken in order to avoid the concentration of people and the possible spread of the illness. Not only was the conference canceled, but church services as well.
Hearing from the church leadership their decision to follow the orders from authorities, we initiated plans to head back home to Florida. Trying to get through to the airline over the weekend to make a change, however, proved fruitless. Thus, we decided to wait until yesterday (Monday 16) to go to the airline’s office. But the Lord had different plans. The government announced that it was shutting down borders and airports, as well as businesses and all public transportation. So, we are here in Honduras waiting for the Lord to give us an indication as to when we can go home. We know that there is no question as to the fact that our Father does know best! In the news, we have seen the chaos at some U.S. airports with hundreds and thousands of people arriving and trying to get through immigration. Literally multitudes in hallways waiting for hours to be screened and processed, and at the same time risking being exposed to, and infected by someone who might already have the virus. As you know, those of us, in our not so young seventies, are at a higher risk. So, we praise the Lord for His gracious care and wait for His direction. Meanwhile, we pray that in the midst of uncertainty, we may be His faithful witnesses to those around us. Would you pray with us, and for us?
The conference has been rescheduled for September when we are due to come back to teach a two-week module at the Seminary. This means that we will plan to spend at least four weeks in Honduras. From mid-September to Mid-October. Pray also for the Spanish World missionaries in different countries. In the next few days, they will also be limited in their visits to radio stations and other contacts. May our focus remain on the Lord’s sovereign will and the fact that He is not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
In HIM to whom all things have been handed over by His Father (Lk. 10:22)
Cornelius and Aida Rivera
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