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It has been over a year since a worldwide pandemic began to rock our world. We are still finding our way as we navigate new normals in the midst of COVID 19. Our brothers and sisters in the Creative Access area where we have the privilege of partnering are also getting their footing in these days that look different. Though many things have changed and have been disrupted, the ministry has continued in the Creative Access Nation. As lockdown lifted, the community center became a place where children and the community could gather for game nights. This gives incredible opportunities for children to play and parents to converse while taking a deep breath as they fellowship with other parents and members of the community.

The Community Center has been an outpost in the community in which educational classes such as parenting and marriage seminars take place. Cooking activities and game nights have also become a pillar of the Community Center as a way to engage with our neighbors. There is one neighbor in particular who comes to mind when I think of their involvement in the Community Center. One night we hosted a college game night. Bea a precious four-year-old girl, entered the center with her dad. There obviously was a miscommunication as Bea or her dad were not college students but they were welcomed with open arms.

Since that event, it is rare for them to miss an activity. There is a longing to participate. There is a longing for community. There is a longing for belonging. This longing for belonging is a human necessity that transcends all cultures. It is our hope that the Community Center is a place where people can feel safe and feel like they can belong even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.

As I left the Creative Access Area, returning stateside to receive health care for myself, I had no idea that a worldwide pandemic was about to hit. What I thought would be a few months of separation from a place that I love dearly, now has been eighteen months. I am grateful that my health has improved greatly and the doctors finally got to the bottom of the problem. I have received full clearance to return. However, the pandemic has made it extremely complicated to nail down a timeline of return. COVID 19 is also delaying the visa process; what would usually take a month to be processed is now taking double the time. All that to say, we do not know when I will be able to return. There is a lot of red tape and details that need perfect timing for the appropriate visa to be received. I would covet your prayers for discernment and wisdom as we begin the visa process.

College Church, thank you. Creative Access and College Church have been partnering together for several years now. The Community Center is up and running in part because of you all. Thank you for leaning into believing that our God is a creative God who calls us to engage in creative ways to love those around us both near and far. Thank you for participating in loving those both near and far, even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.