For example, not being able to visit the elders from the church in order to pray for them in person has been very difficult. Other challenges I’ve faced have been holding online services and still trying to do my best to make sure that our congregation is and doing well.
However, one of the hardest challenges I had to face as a Senior Pastor was experiencing the heartache of our last founding member of our historical church passing away during this time. Words cannot describe how devastating it was not being able to have his memorial service and celebration of life in our church and having to tell the family this saddening news. In addition, not being able to hug the members of the church to console them, but instead having to tell them that only immediate family could enter the funeral home to give their respects and final goodbyes was HARD!
Nonetheless, in the midst of the new reality that COVID-19 has brought to my ministry I have felt the amazing support of church members in so many ways. I have witnessed them bring encouragement, love, support, and I’ve especially seen such unity amongst my church families during this time. My congregation has been driving by the pastoral house in various car parades, from kids to adults cheering with signs that say, “We miss you/We love you!" Some members have even shown up outside my house serenading with beautiful music and bringing boxes of food, essentials, tithes, and offerings. At times they have brought so much that I have been able to share the blessings with other families in need. Though this pandemic has been challenging for them and myself we are still seeing God at work in our lives in the midst of the storm.
I have learned several important life lessons since COVID-19 affected my community. The first lesson is, value what you have. It’s very important to truly value all of God’s blessings, our family, our home, our church, nature’s beauty, our brave medical staff, our selfless teachers, and our law enforcement. Secondly, I have especially come to appreciate all the warriors standing on the front lines because we are not eternal in this life. Lastly, the following life lesson still remains true for me, “love your neighbor, love yourself, and love your enemy.” A community that comes together as one thrives together as one.
By Rev. Cecy Ruano, Senior Pastor of Rosa de Saron Internacional, Caldwell Idaho