I will spare you any philosophizing on this current epidemic, and simply mention some news here in Mexico.
Today in the Mexico City metro area, the no-drive day that we live with every week has been extended to cars currently exempt, that is, to vehicles under 10 years old. We still have two years to go on our 2012 Dodge Journey, but now that Mexico has been declared to be in Stage 3 of the contingency, that van also will be limited as to it’s travel. Both our vans will have to be parked on Monday. Face masks in public are also now mandatory. Public transportation vehicles will only receive half capacity to enforce social distancing (I can’t imagine how that will be enforced).
The contingency here, according to the government, will continue through May 31, and then the school term will re-open for elementary and secondary students, and continue through July 17, which is only slightly longer than the school year normally is.
I get the impression as I watch the news that the statistics being reported are being run through Narnia, then checked by t
he 7 dwarfs. Gathering and analyzing information such as this is not a cultural strength, and with the minimum numbers of people actually being tested, it has to be nearly impossible to come up with verifiable information. When in the U.S. over a million people had already been tested, in Mexico 11K had been. That’s a bit better than 1%. Taking into account Mexico’s difference in population bumps that up to about 3% of people tested, compared to the U.S. It’s really extremely difficult to measure the spread of the disease or the mortality rate here.
As in many places in the third world I imagine, where people live day to day and do not have the luxury of staying in their houses, the open markets and small businesses, as well as the subway system and mass transit in general, have continued here nearly unchanged, although there are definitely fewer cars on the roads, as more formal businesses suspend activities. The informal economy, however, which by some estimates forms over 50% of Mexico’s total economy, is just now slowing down a bit.
Ministry here has changed, as it has for so many of the churches are that work with here in Mexico, and the churches that support us in the U.S. It has been enjoyable to be able to join in several of your online services. A highlight was participating with many people from Word of Life Chapel in their 6 a.m. Easter Sunrise service, 5 a.m. in Mexico City.
In the Palmas church, we continue through our study on the book of Daniel. Last Sunday I produced a preaching video on the first part of Daniel 9, and this Sunday will be talking about Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy…what a passage of scripture! Our Old Testament Survey course
also continues, with John Schimmel and Frank Villalobos teaching us long distance via Go To Meet, a platform similar to Zoom. We studied 1 and 2 Chronicles this past Saturday, and will be looking at the last three historical books, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, the first Saturday in April.
We are hopeful to bring our son David down to Mexico this summer…but I guess we’ll all see what happens! God is still on the throne, and this certainly hasn’t surprised Him. Hopefully we can grow and mature through this time in ways that perhaps we never would have otherwise. Thanks so much for your continued support!