October 3, 2020

[The Lees Update] Newsletter (October 2020)

Dear Friend,

Hard to believe, it’s now over 6 months since the Philippines has declared the community lockdown! What was once inconvenient and frustrating has now become a new ‘norm.’ Regulated moves, curfews, masks, face shields, sanitizers, physical distancing, and virtual communication landed to be a part of the lifestyle here. With no capacity to develop its own vaccine, the Filipino government seems to rely on foreign assistance and just keep prolonging the community quarantine. Amid a seemingly hopeless situation, Christ and his promise have been our ultimate hope. In such a vulnerable time as this, we draw our daily energy from Philippians 3:14 to push through another day and navigate ourselves on the right track toward the vision: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Besides, faithful prayers and supports of mission partners like you motivate us even today to keep us on the field. The work has to go on.

Most of our teaching and mentoring ministries shifted into an online format. Though the process involved many painful and challenging changes, Eunice and I managed to learn and to adapt to this unprecedented technology available for God’s mission. Many preaching and teaching sessions have been locally recorded and remotely shared. Students are constantly reached online while studying from different parts of Asia and the world regions. Virtual mentoring sessions are intensified. I’m more frequently on either Zoom meeting or WhatsApp video call to communicate and encourage our disciples and coworkers serving in 15 nations of Africa and Asia. I often found myself engaged in virtual conferences lately held by notable missiological and academic organizations to learn and navigate the future of mission. I must admit, the work has become even more internationalized! More writings of a book and articles are getting done in this pandemic season. Some of our churches in Africa have been restricted with limited worship attendance and assemblies. In turn, a number of pastors turned to the radio preaching ministry. This has facilitated the message of the gospel to spread even further beyond their local influences. What the devil meant for evil through COVID-19, God has turned it around to be blessings for the nations.

Since March, the IGSL campus has been physically closed to cope up with the government’s order of national lockdown. This decision forced to send all students temporarily back to their countries. While most of them managed to return to their home countries by now, a few Vietnamese and Chinese students still remain in IGSL due to the stubborn refusal of those countries to open borders and receive even their own nationals. Please pray for Thanh’s family to be able to return soon to Vietnam to launch their ministry there since they’ve already graduated in May. Eunice and I have been providing Thanh’s family a pastoral care and personal mentoring for the last 3 years.

Please keep us in your prayers as we do the same for you. The Lord keep you safe and healthy in the coming holiday season. Let us wrap up 2020 in God’s persevering grace in this turbulent time!

Yours together,
Dr. Paul Lee (& Eunice)