Our mission partners, Nick and Betsy Howard, have not only been ministering in New York, one of the major epicentres of the virus, they have also been awaiting the birth of their first child. Due in May, there were many uncertainties including whether Nick would be allowed into the hospital to support Betsy during her labour.
Wonderfully, everything went smoothly and Solomon Michael Howard was born in hospital on May 9th, without complications.
We contacted Nick and Betsy to find out more about their life in New York.
What has life been like for the Good Shepherd Anglican Church?
Our church’s activity has been considerably scaled back because of lockdown restrictions. We’re keeping in touch with our members through a weekly Zoom conference call on Wednesday evenings. This begins with a 10–15 minute Bible talk. We then listen to one another’s prayer requests and pray for one another, with some time at the end for more relaxed conversation.
We’re encouraging all our members to tune into a livestream service every Sunday, but we’ve chosen not to provide an online Sunday service ourselves. That’s partly because a considerable number of our members are staying with family elsewhere in the country, where they will tune in to a livestream service hosted by their family’s local church.
Currently, religious gatherings larger than ten people remain banned. State and city authorities have not yet said when churches will be permitted to hold services in NYC.
How has it felt living in New York during this time?
New York state has been one of the worst-affected regions in the world – thankfully, we’ve only had a couple of mild cases in our church but it has been extremely troubling watching on.
For Betsy and me, the things that kept reminding us of the seriousness of New York’s situation were the ambulance sirens (for a couple of weeks they seemed to be never-ceasing) and reports from a doctor in our church who’s been treating Covid-19 patients in a hospital in the city.