The last time I wrote, things were looking up in California. We were hoping to get out and stay out of quarantine and expecting that life might go back to at least semi-normal before too long. Well, it hasn't really panned out that way! As many of you know, we're sort of bouncing along from one day to the next wondering if church will stay open even at the 25% levels we now have, if or when we will be able to eat inside a restaurant, have our friends and family together, celebrate a holiday or birthday like we used to and travel without great caution and concern. In our county of San Diego, we improved for a while and now we have slipped back. For two nights in a row on the local news, they have said that our restrictions will likely get worse again soon instead of offering the freedom for which we had hoped. San Diego State University opened for classes and they now have over 440 cases of covid-19 just in the last couple of weeks so the school is closed again. And as if that was not enough, we have had terrible fires all around us. Even now as I sit here typing, there is a new fire about 2-3 miles from my house and I am typing to the constant drone of the helicopters working to put it out. Surely we are in a season like even the oldest of us have not ever experienced in our lifetimes.
Through all of this, I have spent hours and hours trying to find a suitable, proper place to have the memorial service for Leon in early October. Last week, I came to the realization that it just cannot happen in a manner that we would choose during this time. By the current regulations, it cannot be done inside of any facility anywhere in our area of Southern California unless it was a very small group. Last week I found out that even if we have it outside, we cannot serve any food or beverage - not even a boxed lunch or a sealed beverage. And if we violated that, we would be subject to fines. I have considered doing a service more or less online, but that is just not who he was! We may tape our service whenever we have it, but I feel that we have to have an in-person service at some point. So, all of this to say that we are postponing the service until things really open up and we can do it properly. That may be after the first of the year, it may even be a bit longer than that. But after so much agonizing, consulting with close family and friends, we just feel that we want it done right and we don't want people close to us stressed out about attending because they are concerned they will get Covid 19. I think that this has been one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever had to make, but I do feel relief that when we do it, we are going to celebrate his life in a manner which he deserves.
In the meantime, I am keeping up with our missionaries and handling the IMS business that comes through. The church in Chennai, India has been able to reopen with careful social distancing and they are very happy to be back together. I will post a couple of photos of their first Sunday service since Covid 19. Our dear friends in Espíritu Y Verdad church in Mazatlan have been through quite a bit. Please pray that those who still have Covid recover soon. I am greatly looking forward to the time when I can visit some of our associate churches and celebrate the Lord bringing us all through this time.