A Strange World
Written by Alex Bjergbæk Klausen

Dear All,

It is strange to sit in the woods and write the introduction to this newsletter. The only headline, which seems to occupy all of us during this time is: “Coronavirus!” Many people are already sick, and more are expected to get sick during the coming months. Authorities in several countries fear that the healthcare systems will be completely overwhelmed. We have already seen chaotic scenes from both China and Italy, and this raises concerns for all of us. The news is bombarding us with stories of the virus outbreak, where the focus is partly on the health consequences and partly on the financial challenges that follow when companies are forced to close their activities due to the many restrictions. The situation may seem completely incalculable. We sense the beginning of a global depression considering the bleak prospects. And in times like this it is difficult to think about anything else but survival. How are we going to get through this difficult time?

First and foremost, we think about our immediate relatives, our loved ones, our family members, friends and others in our network. Everyone suffers from the consequences one way or the other. Relay Trust has a global family. Our close relationships are spread across several continents, and we are extremely concerned about our friends and partners in Africa, where the healthcare system is weak, and where it is difficult to deal with a major virus outbreak. We are also concerned about the economic impact the outbreak will have on countries that are already weak. At the beginning of the year, we had high expectations for many exciting activities. But we can already see that several of them must be postponed indefinitely. We are all grounded and unable to travel due to current restrictions and government recommendations. Coronavirus can quickly become an invisible travel companion that can cause enormous chains of infection. Therefore, Relay Trust has cancelled all travel activities and told staff to work from home and stay in touch through virtual meetings.

We can easily become discouraged when we experience situations like this. But as darkness surrounds us, the light becomes clearer. There is still hope - and Jesus reminds us not to fear (Gospel of Mark 5:36). We should maintain faith and hope. We have experienced many blessings in the Relay Trust in the past few months, and of course they should not disappear in hopelessness and discouragement. We have added new team members, visited Sierra Leone and hosted a conference in Denmark, just a few things. But we also have colleagues who got married and colleagues with newborn babies. There are many reasons to smile and be joyful. We welcome the modern technology which allows us to have fellowship with friends and colleagues around the world, even though we are at a distance. In other words, we can be together while maintaining distance.

During this critical time, it is important that we keep together in prayers for the world and for each other. May God shield us all from illness and help us through the challenges.
God bless!