“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
I think that one of the best ways to love and serve God is by loving our neighbors, who He has created in His own image. In fact, it’s the second greatest commandment that He gives us. ‘Neighbor’ could mean your literal next-door neighbors, those living in your city, or even those living across the world that you have connected with on a mission trip, in your personal travels, or even online. (The internet is so cool these days for bringing people together who physically live thousands of miles apart).
We know that this is a crazy time full of anxiety, frustration, isolation, and uncertainty. But this can also be a beautiful time to serve and love our neighbors – and in doing so, we serve and love our Awesome God.
Here are some ways that we can serve our neighbors in this new age of social distancing:
- Stay inside as much as possible! Whether or not you show symptoms, you could be a carrier and pass on the coronavirus to others who are more vulnerable. Staying indoors is one of the most important acts of love you can show to your neighbors to keep them (and yourself) safe and healthy.
- Pick up the phone and call or text or video chat your friends and family that you don’t always have the chance to talk with often. Ask how you can be praying for them during this time!
- Please also consider making donations to missionaries who are also trying to serve in their ministries while following their country’s health guidelines and practicing social distancing. You can donate to SCORE missionaries here.
- If you live near anyone vulnerable to getting Covid-19 (think our elder neighbors or those who have pre-existing conditions that cause their immune systems to be compromised), ask them if you can help buy and deliver groceries, medicine or any supplies while they stay inside. If you have extra toilet paper, sanitizer, and hand soap, consider making care packages to give to your more vulnerable neighbors. Just remember to stay 6 feet apart!
- Offer support to our healthcare workers who are currently on the frontlines of this pandemic. Offer to look after their kids, make a meal for them, pray for them, whatever they need in these next few weeks.
- While we cannot physically meet together as the Church in a building, we can still support one another as the Body of Christ. If you participate in a bible study/life group/discipleship group, try meeting together virtually! Get creative with how you can spend time together, like with a group dinner, game night, or worship night through video-chatting!
Can I still schedule trips?
We remain optimistic that we will be able to continue our mission trips in the summer/fall of 2020. If your trip has been cancelled due to the coronavirus, please try one of these ideas for how to serve those around you in the meantime. And when the virus stops spreading, please consider joining us on a mission trip either within the United States or internationally. There will be plenty of ministry opportunities in the aftermath of this pandemic! If you have any questions about future trips, or if you’d like to reschedule your trip that was cancelled, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know if you try any of these ideas or if you have ideas of your own! And please let us know how we can be praying for you!
As always, please consult the CDC, WHO, or your local health department for medical advice about COVID-19.
Written by Jessie Pedersen
Jessie currently serves with SCORE as the GAP and Sports Administrative Assistant.