by Laurie-Ann Copple
Happy Easter everyone! He is risen. He is risen indeed. We are thankful that you are reading this message. We weren't able to leave South Africa. Both sets of our flights were cancelled, and lockdown was set upon us before we could quickly rearrange our flights (none available), freight forward and our car is still not fixed. We're still using a borrowed car from a missionary who lives in Somerset West, but is stationed in Botswana. We are thankful for her. We were to fly to the UK on April 2, but lockdown began at 23:59 on March 26th. Even if we made it out of South Africa, we would have had lockdown in the UK, and then lockdown in Canada. We are safer where we are, and with the South African lockdown, the covid stats are much, much lower than they are in Canada. Mind you, the virus was introduced into South Africa much later than it was in Canada, and measures were taken faster, due to realizing how dangerous it would be if/when the virus would hit the townships. To date, the death toll in SA is 25, in Canada 674, in UK 10,602 and in USA 20,659, with a huge proportion in New York City alone.
We are thankful for health workers worldwide, working with covid patients and also with other ailments. L-A has continued to receive herceptin injections at CapeGate Oncology Centre, by the direction of local oncologist Hanlie du Toit and Ottawa surgeon Dr. Pitt. Had we been able to get back to Ottawa (original arrival was Good Friday), L-A's appointment and mastectomy would have been postponed for months, and that was most of the reason why we were returning early. Why leave early now? We were also to resign from Iris Ministries Canada as missionaries as of April 2, but since we are staying in South Africa longer, in the field, our resignation is delayed until we are able to leave. This is good, because although we are locked down, we continue to minister remotely to the teen girls from My Father's House Worcester. We likely still will while we are in Canada.
L-A is continuing to draw while in lockdown, and Tony is gathering movie files that he produced well before coming to South Africa, as well as many that we did here in Worcester. We are thankful for the pause, and the opportunity to spend time in home worship and prayer where we aren't trying to squeeze in time between events and ministry time. We know that God is in control, and that many are crying out to him at this time. We are sad for those who have lost or are losing loved ones. L-A knows how that feels, with having lost her mom in January. May they have encountered Jesus' love just in time. Easter is a time of fresh hope. Jesus is alive. May you encounter him as you seek him. He is there. He is not absent. And he cares for you.
Here is a video from Hillsong South Africa, where we joined in online worship this morning. It features a mix of Cape Town church worship teams, with senior pastors Phil and Lucinda Dooley, and then global pastor Brian Houston, preaching on L-A's favourite scripture passage, Philippians 2:5-11). Happy Easter!
Tony and Laurie-Ann Copple (usually Laurie-Ann)
L-A's devotional blog
TONY'S DEVOTIONAL BLOG
Tony's south african journal
TONY'S POST MISSION JOURNAL