Wednesday 1 April 2020

Prayer Letter: April 2020

Wednesday, April 1 - Friday, April 3:

Once a month, the administrative staff of ICS gather together in one room to update one another and to provide support where needed on the various projects that everyone is involved in. This Wednesday is our April meeting day, and instead of meeting in one room, ICS will have its first virtual meeting via Zoom. Pray that as we gather together online we will experience the same support and camaraderie with one another that we have when we are together in person.

Just like last year, ICS will be holding this month its spring retreat for staff, faculty, and students -- but with a big twist! Gideon Strauss and Elizabet Aras have been hard (and creatively!) at work making a virtual spring retreat a reality. We’re grateful for their efforts and ask for prayers for their continued strength and inspiration in their work. We pray that this important culminating event in the school year will be uplifting and hope-filled as we build community and reflect on the various lessons, insights, and blessings in the past academic year.

During these trying times, we request your prayers for our Junior Members June, Abbi, and Theoren as they journey back home for the summer months. We pray in a special way for their health and safety in the journey, and for a joyous reunion with their families and loved ones.

Monday, April 6 - Friday, April 10:

We are requesting prayer at this time for one of our Junior Members, Julia de Boer, who is 35 weeks pregnant with her first child, immunocompromised via pregnancy, and has a history of respiratory illnesses. Thankfully, her husband, Sankalp, can work from home, and they remain fully sealed off from the world, likely for 4-6 weeks until baby arrives and some time afterwards. However, this state of emergency because of COVID-19 has created huge uncertainties and anxiety for them, especially as they contemplate the prospect of delivering in hospital in the midst of a pandemic, with little access to family or friends. Please pray that their isolation will be effective in keeping Julia healthy, that their little son will arrive just when he ought to, and that she will be able to deliver safely and without fear in hospital

This is Holy Week -- the most joyous time in the Christian calendar. It is a time of celebration beyond hope, because with Easter, hope is made real. Christ’s resurrection heralds the final triumph of life over death. Let’s pray together that despite the limitations of gathering together to celebrate, the Easter message of new life and hope will bring joy and wonder to our hearts.

Monday, April 13 - Friday, April 17:

As this semester’s classes wind down, please pray for our faculty as they continue to provide the teaching and mentoring to our Junior Members in these dramatically different conditions. We pray that the remote teaching will face as little disruption as possible, and that mentoring relationships can still lead to the flourishing of ideas and furthering of projects for our Junior Members.

We ask for prayer for the staff and faculty as we wrestle with the many decisions that need to be made regarding the scheduling of events that normally take place April through June, and into the fall semester. There are so many unknowns in the current environment that planning becomes an ever-changing activity, so we pray for insight to know how to make these decisions wisely.

Monday, April 20 - Friday, April 24:

Professor Emeritus, Hendrik Hart, has been receiving chemotherapy for his cancer during these past few months. The COVID-19 outbreak has required a review of Henk’s available options to either continue treatment or put it on pause. Both options have significant risks, but he has chosen to pause treatment for now, and will be carefully and frequently monitored by those who care for him at this time. Please pray for continued wisdom for the medical staff and for protection and peace of mind for Henk as he navigates these uncertain times.

The Finance Committee, along with the Leadership Team, are hard at work this month on the coming year’s budget. Please pray for them in their deliberations, that they might be granted insight, wisdom, and hope as they make stewardship decisions for the 2020-2021 budget year in the midst of a financial environment that is largely unpredictable, volatile, and constantly changing.

It is with sadness that we announce that ICS is cancelling Convocation 2020 as a result of COVID-19’s limitation on social gatherings. We will greatly miss the opportunity to gather with our community to honour our students and to celebrate with one another at this important annual event. We pray that over these next months that we will find grace and peace in the knowledge that God is ever present with us.

Monday, April 27 - Thursday, April 30:

We ask for prayer for our administrative staff as they continue to navigate the complexities of doing their work remotely. They need wisdom to determine the best ways to keep the information flowing to prevent the feeling of isolation and being siloed in the projects they are working on. As well, please pray for God’s hand of protection on each one that they will continue to be healthy and experience his peace and comfort during this unsettling time

We give thanks for our Junior Members who are such an important part of our community and have been a real blessing during this difficult time. We pray for them as they wind up their course papers over the next few weeks and try to make plans for their summer work and studies in the coming year. We pray for them that they might experience peace and comfort, and that they might continue to find many inspiring, exciting, and varied opportunities to explore their respective work and research interests.