God is encouraging us even during COVID-19 conditions. These are excerpts of testimonies Brooklyn, New York women gave during the 59th Street Lutheran Brethren Church online worship service on Pentecost Sunday.

Hoi Wing and her husband Dennis both worked at New York hospitals during the COVID crisis, alternating working from home, so one could always be with their kids. Hoi Wing described sharing hope with co-workers.

“I really thank God for his strength and protection… My family and I have remained safe and healthy thus far. I have some co-workers who are especially anxious about COVID-19. One of them was afraid that if he had to go in to work, he would be bringing home the virus to his elderly mother… I reminded him that it’s all in God’s hands; we just have to take the precautions that we can, and leave the rest to God. Another co-worker had multiple anxiety attacks and has been constantly worried. I tell him that worrying won’t help, and that God is watching over us—we just need to keep praying. Every day we pray as a family for safety, especially for those who are high-risk in our congregation, and among our loved ones and friends. It has been very difficult, but with God’s protection and provision, we are able to continue serving him in our jobs and in our relationships!”

Heidi works with diplomats from around the world, and told about a boy left on his own at age twelve. His Christian friend, whose gracious mother often blessed him with food, encouraged him to trust Jesus, but he wasn’t ready. Years later, he recognized God’s grace had enabled him to survive and be educated. He was the first in his family to follow Christ and is the only Christian diplomat serving in his country’s mission at the United Nations. He recognizes that everything he has received has come as a gift of God’s grace, and is grateful for the friend who shared Christ with him!

Margaret and her husband Daniel, an older couple, were confined during COVID. She described the first Pentecost, when the disciples were in a locked room.

“They were locked down; they were filled with fear and anxiety. But at that time, as the Lord Jesus Christ promised them, when they waited, God the Holy Spirit—on the Pentecostal Day—poured out his wonderful blessings on them! And they received the blessings, and they received the encouragement, and courage, and they went forth to spread the good news! During this time, yes, we are locked down, but God the Holy Spirit is giving us the encouragement to reach out through technology to many people so that they will be encouraged. People who are filled with fear and anxiety… We call to many people and they call to us, just to have a little chat in their loneliness, and to find mutual encouragement. And that’s what God has given us through this.

“Our heavenly Father, and our Savior Jesus Christ, and our Comforter the consoling Holy Spirit is with us during this time. That’s what I have experienced and what I want to encourage you with. God bless you all!”

Heidi concluded, “Whether the Holy Spirit prompts you to pray for someone, to come alongside someone, to encourage someone to trust in the Lord, or to provide for someone’s physical, emotional, or spiritual needs, God is using you… While you might not see the seeds taking root right away… God is at work! He hears our prayers, and is pleased when we obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. May that encourage you!”

Living from the Other Side
The Same Blood