​As I write this, I am grateful to all of those who have expressed concerns and offered prayers for our safety. Many have assumed we continue to be in Rome, Italy, which has become the highest corona virus-infected country outside of China. Please continue to pray for Italy, for Pope Francis, for Cardinal Tagle and the other leaders of the Church, and also for our CFC community which is concentrated in Rome and in northern Italy.

Me and my wife, Babylou, are here for a trip planned long ago to be with our daughter and her family. We had originally scheduled to be here later in March, but with the increasing spread of the epidemic in Italy, although not yet in Rome at that time, we thought of advancing the trip, before more stringent regulations might prevent our travel plans from pushing through. After some fits and starts in our decision making, we thanked the Lord for setting the conditions that finally allowed us to come here before any of the stringent regulations could take effect.

We are not here to escape the coronavirus in Rome, because the virus is also here in the US, as it has surfaced in an increasing number of countries around the world. The more concerning development, is that some of the cases are reported to be not related to travel to China or any of the infected areas. Some of the virus it seems may have developed locally in certain areas, independent of what transpired in Wuhan.

What this means is that there is really no place that is absolutely safe, that is absolutely free of the virus. Some have more of it, and some less of it. Some may not have the virus now, but there is no guarantee that it will never have it.

Scientists, the medical profession, and pharmaceutical companies around the world are no doubt doing their best to find the cure for this outbreak as early as possible. Let us pray for them, and that a solution can be found soonest.

We are of course not left helpless. We should ensure that we observe proper hygiene all the time, such as frequent washing of hands, and do what is necessary to strengthen our immune system, such as sufficient sleep and taking of appropriate vitamins and other important nutrients, and avoid big crowds that can result in an easier spread of this virus.

But more than these, we should intensify our prayers and ask for God’s protection and solution. We pray that our human fears be overcome by a stronger faith, with the confidence that despite what is happening, God is in control.

In a way, what this coronavirus outbreak has done, is for a larger group of humanity to experience what refugees are experiencing, to face what people in war and violence-torn countries face everyday. From being free to do whatever one wants to do, and move around to and from any place freely, from eating food anytime when one is hungry, to being subjected to lockdowns, restrictions on travel, and quarantine and isolation.

Hopefully, this whole epidemic will make more of humanity to be more humane, to be more concerned about others’ welfare and well being, to respond more meaningfully to efforts that address the concerns of the refugees and the poor and those whose freedoms, including the freedom to worship, have been restricted one way or the other.

Let us all keep the faith, pray consistently to deepen it, and act to give life to it, by doing good works as we are asked to do by a loving God.