At this time, Elim’s campuses closed through Thursday, April 30, 2020 per Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home Executive Order.
While we have been communicating updates to families and staff prior to posting them online, we are aware that some people have not been receiving all those updates. To ensure you do not miss updates, please connect with either Jill Brokop in Children’s Services (Jill.Brokop@elimcs.org), or Anne Wierenga in Adult Services (Anne.Wierenga@elimcs.org) to let them know your contact information.
I am grateful to be able to once again connect with you, and provide you with an update and some words of encouragement. This are difficult days to be sure, but in the midst of the difficulty there is still much to be grateful for.
It is certainly worth noting the amazing things that are going on in our Elim family in spite of the isolation we are experiencing. Elim employees are creatively staying connected with each other and with the families they serve. These connections are very important, and I want to thank them for the many ways they are living out Christ’s love every day. Parents, guardians and caregivers, you are amazing! You have had to adjust to a dramatically different reality and you are doing it selflessly and with great love. Your resolve and acts of love are evidence of Christ’s presence.
But, these are still difficult times, made worse by the fact that we do not know how long they will last. This past week I found myself more anxious and fearful than normal, because my daughter who is a medical professional is now closer to the front lines of the pandemic.
In the midst of my anxiety and fear, God has been reminding me that while healthy concern, anxiety, and fear sharpen us, they can also grow and paralyze us. When we sense that happening, we need to push back by doubling down on the truth of God’s word. Did you know that the Bible makes 366 references to fear – one for every day of this year. In Isaiah 41:10 God reminds us:
“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God.”
But how do we push back on fear, especially in unprecedented times like this? By focusing on the truth of God’s love. 1 John 4:18 God reminds us that there is no fear in love.
“Perfect love drives out fear.”
Focusing on God’s perfect, unconditional and eternal love for us is what pushes back our anxiety and fear. Resting in God’s love enables us to let go of our need to control. By praying, reading scripture, listening to music and/or talking with friends and family who remind us about God’s love, we are building up antibodies to fear.
So Elim family (that includes you), let’s keep going! We are people of faith who encounter the realities of the COVID-19 virus with a focus on God’s perfect love, which pushes back fear. Let this be our experience and our testimony as we continue to isolate and place our trust in God.
For accurate and complete information regarding Covid-19 infections in the state of Illinois, I recommend that you refer to the infection information provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the CDC. The following articles include stories that connect to or directly impact the Elim community. Please be in prayer for our friends and ministry partners living at or working in adult residential settings.
Adapted from Northwestern University
Once we do return to our campuses, standard precautions for Elim clients, students, staff, and families will apply. It is important to reiterate that the best way to protect ourselves is to continue to employ the standard precautions that we employ everyday:
In light of the ongoing spread of COVID-19 the Elim community has taken the following additional precautions through at least April 30, 2020:
Elim is committed to fostering an environment that empowers people to come forward and report if they are ill. Stigmatizing COVID-19 will only make us more anxious and ensure community spread. In that spirit, we provide you with the following additional information:
We appreciate your partnership as we take every precaution to keep our community safe.
Dr. Bill Lodewyk
on behalf of the Elim Coronavirus Task Force and the Elim Leadership Team