Friday, 27 March 2020

Coronavirus, Snow and Good News Within the Darkness...

We're now nearly three weeks into our almost lockdown here in Slovenia. It's amazing how people adapt to the new normal. I don't know how many other people have experienced the sensation of watching TV that was obviously filmed ages ago and felt nervous that so many people were standing in such close contact! I'd like to welcome people in the UK to the lockdown party, I'm not sure it's a party I want to be in but I'm going to reiterate what many, many people are saying: STAY AT HOME! It's for your own good as well as for the good of everyone else around you!
This week I braved going to the supermarket. You can see that here we're quite good at the social distancing thing. It took 20 minutes to get inside and before we were allowed in we had to have our hands sprayed and everyone was given a pre wiped down trolley. It was a bit of a surreal experience.
From what I've seen, people in Slovenia are better at keeping the rules than those in the UK. At the moment we seem to be keeping the situation under control. Yes people are still getting sick and dying but it's a completely different situation compared to that just over the border in Italy. I'm sure many people are joining together in praying that this will all end soon.

As I already worked from home, my life hasn't changed too much. I'm able to conduct most of my work over the internet and most of the church groups are now happening online too. Until this last week the weather was nice enough that people were able to go for exercise outside. I live very close to the river and so I've been trying to get fresh air there, of course following all social distancing guidelines. What no one expected (ok I guess meteorologists may have done) was that it would snow this week! Last week we had temperatures of 20 degrees celsius which suddenly dropped to 2! Anyway, this has meant that more people are staying inside and that's probably helping things in all reality.
For me, I'm staying in good spirits although occasionally, within the last two days, I've started seeing signs that I may need to get outside for my own sanity. Yesterday I honestly had the thought "fish must be really fit since they have to keep swimming all the time..." One of my housemates and I have also been playing the game 'hide the balloons in the other's room.' We've had to get quite creative since we're both inside most of the time. Last night, however, I dreamt that she put them in my bed with me whilst I slept! Thankfully it wasn't real (I hope I haven't given her ideas!) but it is a sign of what's uppermost in my mind. I've also taken to building a work nest on my sofa. Everything I could possibly need is right there within reach!
Again, I'm praying that this all ends soon.

Despite these hard times, God is still in control and has not forgotten us. He is still working in the lives of the people I work with and I continue to be encouraged by the young people I meet with every week.
I've also seen God working in my own life, smoothing the path for when I return to the UK at the end of August. I have been accepted into the Cornhill Bible Training Course in London starting in September. I will also have a placement at my sending church in Swindon and so I will be moving back there for the next year. I know that many of you support me in prayer for which I am very grateful and without which I couldn't do the work God has given me. I do, however, need to raise financial support both for this next year in the UK and for the future when I hope to return to Slovenia. God has already been answering many of these prayers, making all of this possible but if you feel that you would be able to help me in this please either let me know by email: s.re.deacon@gmail.com or by visiting my ECM worker page: https://www.ecmi.org/en/worker-detailpage/01441085-2cdb-4671-88d5-488b3c3c7ef1
Many thanks to those of you who already give or support me in various ways, it is really appreciated and once again I couldn't do this without all of you behind me.

Just to finish off, since I feel it is my civic duty to do so: STAY AT HOME (unless you're a key worker, are getting groceries or are doing your daily exercise)!

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