As a faith-based nonprofit, we at Bridges of Hope pride ourselves as an oasis of hope in the community.

However, the desire to be a source of hope comes with its challenges. Balancing the varying needs of individuals and families, is a challenge that requires prioritizing and collaboration with others. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the considerations and community’s needs have skyrocketed because the unemployment rate has increased greatly as the service industry shuts down and there is a sudden halt in the socio-economic arena of the entire nation, including the lakes area.

In what seems like desperate times, when we find ourselves in the unknown, we need to remember that God is with us. So how can we continue to be a source of hope?

By obeying the commandment of love, we should endeavor to check on our neighbors, family and friends both far and near to ensure that even in these difficult times where many feel isolated, without hope and in dire need of help, we can be a source of encouragement and hope. A quiet prayer also goes a long way to help.

There are many ways in which we can positively engage our minds during these stay at home and social distancing periods. You can read books, listen, rest, exercise, do art, play, start a new project, bond with family, meditate and rediscover yourself. The good news is that the essentials of our lives as Christians are not affected. Praying can still go on, fasting is not canceled, Bible study can still go on, giving is not canceled, witnessing and evangelism can still be done, faith is not canceled, and Jesus remains on the throne.

1 Corinthians 15:58 says: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work for the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Through our faithful mission we need to remember that God’s plan is bigger than ours. God promises that despite the trials we go through, He will be there.

This statement is a true testament from God and becomes more prominent as we continue each and every day to grow in our walk of faith. If our actions are that of love, patience, joy, understanding, peace, kindness and hope then we are actively walking in our faith. Romans 15:13 says: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” So, as we continue to walk in faith, hope will undoubtedly overflow from our hearts.

As Christians we need to come together in prayer, in fellowship, in worship, and as disciples so that we may continue to do the work of God. We at Bridges of Hope believe that with God’s unfailing love our community will overcome this pandemic.

Bernadette Foh is the executive director and CEO of Bridges of Hope.