Ministry in Quarantine

Written by Carly Brown

As this year began in January our Ministry team ,our family, was full of excitement…We had so many plans and dreams that God was bringing to fruition. We had found a property to buy and begin building, we were getting our permanent residency here in Bolivia and we were starting a business to provide jobs for our friends after leaving the prison….it was full steam ahead and we were so excited.

There are points in life without knowing it that we start doing more and forget that we need to also keep being. Being with the Lord, in his presence, filled by him and being his kids and as there was so much to do in our ministry, we were not being with God as much as we needed to. Gods plans and timing are always better than ours, even if we don’t know it at the time.

Then came March, March 15th we were told we were starting a strict quarantine. The prison shut down, we could no longer go in and visit, we could not leave our house except for once a week to get food and we could not use our cars. At first we were in survival and shock, we bought extra food and enough to give out to our neighbors and we waited. We were in this quarantine for 4 months. There were alot of emotions, anger at what God was doing which we just didn’t understand, fighting to trust and have faith in his plan, confusion over how we could keep doing ministry. It was hard and lonely for us and we fought with what God was doing in and around us at times BUT GOD always has the best plan.
When your ministry, the work you do, changes drastically you have to look at who you are. Who are you really apart from what you do? We started spending more time with our family, and our team. The first month we started meeting together nightly to worship and pray. This was such a sweet time with our kids, they started hearing more from the Lord, growing in confidence in hearing God's voice and talking with him more. As a team we were vulnerable and honest with each other, we had to grieve the loss of what we thought we would be doing and trust God together with what He was doing in and through us. We not only grew together as a team but our family units grew closer. We were spending more time with our kids, more time as couples and friends. Our friends inside the prison had to grow too in boldness and faith, they couldn't rely on us to take them around and share Jesus, they had to start going out on their own and they did. In the last 4-5 months God has strengthened our family and team, strengthened our friends and brothers in the prison and done a lot of pruning and shaping of our hearts. Sometimes it's painful and confusing when things feel taken away, but after the pruning you realize that in order for God to take you forward you have to shed some things.
Through the hard there is always good, we have had People healed of Covid, come to Jesus and so many have grown in their hunger for more of God. He really is so faithful and Good and his plans and so much better than ours. We were still able to purchase our property, we have almost finished our papers for our visas, we started our business and we have more freedom now to be out and about. We are so much more thankful for our freedom now, for everything we took for granted before. We pray that we continue carry this thankfulness with us and continue to grow and mature in the things God has been doing in our hearts these last few months. What an honor it is to serve him, it's not always easy but he is always good.