June 25, 2020

[The Lees Update] Newsletter (June 2020)

Dear Friend,

Shalom to you from the Philippines in this troubled season! With over 100 days long quarantine yet still with no control over the infectious curve, the Philippines is hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic. Some people seem to have given up hope and even decided to ignore the perilous reality due to immediate survival needs. Some people roam around on roads just to find a ride to their work since the government banned all public transportations for social distancing precaution. To this end, imprudent uses of private vehicles jammed the road traffic again on Manila streets. Many Filipinos are uncertain about the future of the country, and many Christians about the future of churches here and around the world alike. Just for a reminder, this is not the first time the world faced an acute pandemic. Even in the 16th century when a deadly plague devastated Europe, many Christians and churches behaved in such complicated situations as contemporary salt and light of the society. Time and situation changed but the call and position of the Church remain the same.

Churches in the EAPTC network are exactly doing that in the heart of the Muslim-dominated coastal region of Tanzania. Thanks to the unprecedented online technology made available now to missionaries, Eunice and I have been regularly advising and mentoring the leaders serving our network of 15 countries. A team led by Cletus Tukai, our Swahili Africa regional director, has been vibrantly moving onward for the cause of Christ through Bible training and church planting mission. Backed by the mother church established in Kilimanjaro/Moshi area, EAPTC is strengthening daughter church plants in multiple locations of coastal Tanzania through its disciples. Though still new and small, our Vietnam mission is also moving strongly through small groups multiplication in the ‘T’ city. God is still alive and moving during this pandemic, and souls are coming to the Lord like never before. In the Philippines, owing to the social distancing policy, we’ve just celebrated the 2020 online graduation of IGSL students who Eunice and I have been teaching and mentoring. Kindly uplift 64 gospel workers in your prayers as they’re commissioned back to 12 countries of Asia and Africa, many of which are known as Creative Access Regions with some or severe restriction to open sharing of the gospel.

Many of our coworkers in Africa and Asia are suffering economically and socially. Hyper-corruption and social injustice are usually more rampant in these parts of the world during a crisis like this. Your prayers for them will be much appreciated. As 1 Corinthians 12:26 says, when one part suffers every part suffers with it in the body of Christ. Much thanks to your love gifts that Moses Aringo has recovered and is doing well in Malawi. Through it all, you and I, the body of Christ, are called to be the salt and light of the world even amid peril of pandemic. And Eunice and I thank you for being a part of what God is doing in this world through your sacrificial giving and prayer. Please take care in this challenging season.

Yours together in Christ,
Dr. Paul Lee (& Eunice)