Like you, the covid19 quarantine has significantly affected our lives. We went from such a great 2020 start to things getting turned upside down. We want you to know we’re praying for you, and we also ask that you pray for us! Here’s some updates from us regarding the lockdown.
Seton Hall, Ramapo, Stevens and NJCU all switched to a virtual Bible study every week, where they focused on studying the word but also inviting non-Christian friends to learn about Jesus. At first it was overwhelming, as they all used different online platforms (Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom and Instagram) but after two weeks, it all smoothed over. Here are some real encouraging moments. We even got to have our monthly statewide meeting over Zoom as well!
For NJCU’s first digital meeting, student leader Carissa (from the US Virgin Islands) publicly shared a powerful word from her personal Instagram! This means all her followers were exposed to the gospel! Charity, Seton Hall senior, lead a Bible study about being honest with God over how you’re feeling. She personally has been greatly affected as she will not be able to finish her senior year in a normal fashion. It was so encouraging to hear her maturely talk through the emotional rollercoaster this has put her through.
Finally, over at the Ramapo meeting, Kaitlyn has been able to share about her experience as a part-time nurse at Holy Name Hospital. She’s been uneasy every time she’s assigned to the covd19 unit, but she’s thankful to have a community to vent in every week!
Another encouraging ministry update is our involvement with our church’s online ministry. We not only help produce the Sunday live stream but JENN has made several amazing Sunday school videos, both talking about kids resources to use and also reading Bible stories for kids (link below).
As for personal updates, my Nonno passed away on April 7 (nonno means grandfather in Italian). Needing to mourn away from my family and cousins was a difficult and unusual experience. We all suspected that Nonno passed from cov19, but he was never tested. However, a few days after he passed, my brother who helped care for Nonno came down with a bad fever which turned to excruciating pain and a trip to the ER. It was confirmed there that he got covid19 – likely from my grandfather. My brother’s son also ended up contracting it, and are now almost fully recovered.
At home, is it tough figuring out how to keep the kids occupied every day. Thankfully Jenn is a natural-born teacher, but that doesn’t mean the sudden shift to home school is easy. She is overseeing every nook and cranny of our 8 & 7 year old’s virtual schooling on top of dealing with all other responsibilities. On a positive note, our 2 year old is now potty trained! ha
Cru has thankfully rolled out a whole ton of training and development we can take this spring and summer! Already this quarantine, I’ve taken one seminary class (Old Testament Survey) and will take three more that should occupy about 8 weeks of my summer. On top of that, I will be helping to implement some virtual summer meetings for our students statewide and also work on raising needed financial support we lost over the last six months.
As tough as the quarantine has been, God is not surprised by it, nor is ministry halted. The gospel goes forth! And we’re excited to see more and more of his powerful work come to light through all of this!
Joey+Jenn Gianluca+Gabriel+Lana Sforza