Dear American Baptist College Family, I hope all of you are focusing on good health during this COVID-19 crisis, and even more aware of blessings during this novel coronavirus outbreak. As the virus infections escalate, fear and uncertainty are mounting in the United States and around the world. Public health officials tell us that things will get worse before they get better.
COVID-19 is teaching us important lessons. One of those lessons is that the virus infection has no respect of persons or for the artificial boundary of race, class, sexual orientation and social status. Government officials, entertainers, professional sports icons, and the poor are all impacted alike. We also are learning dependence upon human fortresses or systems, whether economic or political are not sufficient by themselves, to keep us healthy and safe. The potential threat to the health and possible death of millions has put a halt to the normal operations of not only colleges and universities, but nearly shutting down many businesses, government operations, restaurants and entertainment venues.
On Friday, March 20, the threat of the increasing infection rate of the virus prompted the Governor of California to impose a statewide stay at home order, which has been followed by several other states. The most important lesson we are learning is rather than allowing fear and panic to govern our response to the coronavirus, we are encouraged to go deeper in faith to hold up the love of God as being stronger than this global public health pandemic. Throughout the history of the human story, Divine Love has been constant and consistent in all matters of life, its power never exhausted or limited by diseases, famines, floods or plagues to liberate and heal life.
We can be assured the prevailing power of love that has seen the human family through the worst of times, will see us through the stress, trauma and social disruption of this public health pandemic. Being part of the solution for containment of the virus, rather than part of the problem of spreading the disease is what it means to love God and neighbor as oneself. By practicing what public health experts, who are tracking the virus infections say we must do; washing hands frequently, practicing social distancing, and staying home to contain the spread of COVID-19, is loving yourself, loving your neighbors, and above all, loving GOD.
Forrest E. Harris, Sr. President