From Brodie Cooper…
We’ve held off on making a statement on COVID-19 for a handful of reasons. First, we’re are an outdoor ministry… and outside in God’s creation is where you are least likely to catch the virus.
Second, we had a busy weekend and it was important for us to focus on the tasks at hand. A volunteer team from the Houston area manned the fishing stations at the 2020 IntenseMen retreat and prioritized taking kids fishing and demonstrating the Father’s love over worrying about a virus. Additionally, we hosted an interest meeting in Lafayette to recruit ministry leaders to support and direct a growing effort in the state of Louisiana. I’m happy to report that the meeting went very well and we hope to have a couple of new leaders on board.
Third, it is generally a sign of wisdom to be slow to speak and quick to listen. The COVID-19 situation remains highly fluid and no one can honestly say with a high degree of confidence what the situation will look like a day from now, much less a month from now. Governmental authorities are scrambling, health officials are preparing, business leaders are adjusting daily, and families are enduring a time of great uncertainty.
There are two predominant voices speaking loudly at this time. There is one voice that is using unproven theory, extrapolated statistics, and incendiary language to provoke fear. There is another voice, equal and opposite, using their own engineered statistics, armchair quarterback analysis, and un-compassionate memes to provoke conflict and doubt. In times such as this, one can be certain that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It will take a few weeks to discern where exactly in the middle the truth lies and it’s best to exercise reasonable caution until then. The keyword there, is ‘reasonable.’
The truth of the matter is this – we really don’t know what’s going to happen and we have a few weeks before we need to make a decision on our April events. Our Proctor Lake, TX event is scheduled for April 3-5, and our Cuba, NM event is scheduled for April 24-26. As of this date, we are not cancelling either event. Both events are well under the current CDC recommended thresholds of 50 people and we have a significant amount of time to wait and see how the situation pans out. Frankly, it would be nice to get a bunch of kids outside fishing in early April if at all possible. If the situation worsens and we are forced to cancel the events, we will issue full refunds. You can sign up for either event with confidence and know that if the event doesn’t happen you will not lose your registration fee.
In the meantime, I’d like to give you some practical advise to help you get through this confusing time.
1. Pastor Sean Walker of The Bayou Church said on Sunday that “worship is the best remedy for worry.” I wholeheartedly agree. No matter how chaotic these days may seem, God is in control. Worship helps turn our heart back to God which in turn redirects our thoughts back to Him. When your thoughts are spinning with uncertainty and you find yourself unable to direct your steps, stop for a moment and sing. Sing out loud! Lift your hands! Remember all of the times He has been there for you in the past. Remember the promises of the Bible. Though He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death, we have nothing to fear. Redirect your heart and your thoughts to God and allow Him to direct your steps. Worry will no longer have a place.
2. Take a kid fishing! We have nice warm weather, and temperatures over 80 degrees kill the virus. What a perfect excuse to take a kid outside to enjoy the creation! If you don’t have a kid, offer to take your neighbor and their kids. The kids are bored and stuck indoors and this is the perfect time to introduce some new kids to fishing. Fishing frequently may be the absolute safest thing you can do!
3. Take reasonable precautions and follow the guidelines set out by health officials. Again, the key word here is reasonable. Wash your hands several times a day with warm water a soap. Make a point to not touch your face. Isolate yourself if you even think you feel sick. Isolate yourself if anyone you’ve been around, including your kids, have so much as a cold. Help senior citizens and those with suppressed immune systems stay away crowds by volunteering to grocery shop or run errands for them. And for goodness sake, STOP panic buying. Get enough groceries for the week and leave some for others.
4. Choose to be a light in your community. The body of Christ is not contained within the walls of a building and is not dependent upon corporate gathering to do the work of Christ. Share the good news of Jesus. Support your community. Serve others. Give generously. Support local businesses that may be struggling in this time. Love people practically. Refuse to compete with others for existence and comfort, and refuse to take part in the senseless rhetoric that is flying around social media. Exercise compassion, kindness, and understanding.
Know that we love you and during this time. If there is a way that we can support you, please don’t hesitate to message us.
Blast & Cast Men’s Ministries