As the coronavirus spreads across the globe, we are deeply concerned for the well-being of our staff and students, and for the health of churches and communities that are adapting to it.
In the providence of God, SATS was already in the final stages of transitioning into a completely decentralized ministry. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were down to a small nucleus of about four out of our forty full-time staff working at our head office. Ninety per cent of our staff work from home offices, which are scattered across the country and even the globe. As a result, our daily operations and our ability to offer all our normal services are unaffected by the crisis.
We have taken precautions to avoid spreading the virus or putting our staff at risk. We will not commit to national or international travel or to conferences or live teaching engagements until it is safe to resume these functions. Although our offices remain open, we urge all students to engage us online rather than in-person.
We are deeply concerned about the impact that the pandemic will have upon church communities. Many of our students and staff are church leaders. Restrictions on gatherings threaten their ministry and their livelihood. We are standing with the church in impassioned prayer for God’s presence and comfort, beginning with a day of fasting and prayer today. (Yes, we can fast and pray online.)
We will be doing our best to provide resources to help pastors and church leaders navigate this unusual season. For instance, on Friday at 9:00, we are hosting a webinar with four pastors to discuss how their churches will function under the prohibition against large-group gatherings.
To some extent, the world has reacted with fear and panic. As God’s people, we are called to embody the virtues of faith, hope, and love. We trust God’s unfailing love (Ps. 13:5). We know that God is faithful and he is in control. We should think not only of our own needs, but embrace the opportunity to love and care for all, believers and unbelievers alike. Let us be the salt of the earth and the light of the world!
As a SATS student, please rest assured that our service and teaching continues without interruption. Rest assured, also, that we are praying daily for you, your families, and your churches. God is with us always.