Dear <<First Name>>,
What a wild month.
October 7th, our region of JV Poland had a staff meeting. As it turns out, a few people who had already been infected with COVID-19, but who were asymptomatic at the time, were at that meeting.
October 11th, I started getting very sick. I immediately went into self-quarantine, and a couple of days later was able to get a telephone appointment with my Polish doctor, who gave me the referral to take a test, which came back positive.
Cases in Poland have quite simply exploded this month. At the start of October, we were averaging around 2,000 new cases each day. As of now, that number is 19,000 per day and rising. Pray for Poland and the medical system here.
Not to be dramatic, but the coronavirus and solo quarantine experience was hands down the most difficult experience I've ever gone through in life. I had a high fever for 10 days, loss of taste and smell, muscle aches, cough, inability to sleep, and labored breathing. On top of that, I needed to care for myself, cook, and clean amidst police-enforced isolation. I barely had enough energy to get myself out of bed a few times each day.
Thankfully, God was by my side through the entire experience! While I shed more than my fair share of tears and spent weeks wrapped up in blankets just trying to stay warm, God never let me give up and lose hope. People from my church regularly checked in and brought groceries and medicine. Friends called often to ask how I was doing. Gabi and I talked daily on FaceTime. And after 16 days, my health has more or less fully returned and I am free of my mandated quarantine!
I'm still a little bit on the mend. My lungs haven't returned to full capacity yet. Honestly neither has my energy or "get-up-and-go," though they are slowly returning. At the same time, God is daily showing me favor and care. Walking, driving, feeling the sun, talking to another person face-to-face - after weeks of laying inside alone, these things are incredibly sweet blessings from the Lord and I cherish them dearly.
My challenge for you this month - take the virus seriously, but also do not live in fear. Our God is in control, and prayer has incredible power! Also, if you know someone currently sick and on quarantine - especially a single person - offer to bring them food. Call them and ask how they're doing. Pray for them. Now, more than ever, our churches need to be the true community of believers that they're meant to be.