A special day of prayer for marriage and family relationships brought thousands of church members and leaders together across the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) on June 6, 2020, regional church leaders reported.
The Family Ministries department adopted the initiative of the General Conference’s Family Ministries on World COVID-19 Marriage and Family Day of Prayer, and scheduled the online event in collaboration with the SSD communication department.
World and Regional Background
The current outbreak of COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the world population in various ways. The inconveniences, limited travel, financial loss, dismissal from employment, and some fundamental freedoms being chipped away under community lockdown and quarantine are all byproducts of this global crisis.
Church members witness the uncertainties of the future unraveling before their eyes. The virus has indiscriminately infected people around the world and caused more than 435,000 deaths as of the date of publication. It is reported that a third of the global population has been affected by COVID-19 through community quarantine, curfews, and the practice of social distancing. The whole world is undoubtedly bracing itself for a situation far worse if vaccination against COVID-19 is delayed.
While the experiences due to COVID-19 are shared across the globe, leaders across the SSD recognize that some communities, families, and marriage relationships are struggling more than others. It is what moved them to support and organize the special day of prayer, they said.
A Day to Reflect and Pray
Besides the posts on the official SSD Facebook pages, the event was advertised on the three Hope Channel stations in the Philippines, Hope Channel Indonesia in Jakarta, and Hope Channel South East Asia in Thailand. Promotion was also done at the union church region level with promotional videos and graphics posted on social media in various languages.
The day set for the event began with the broadcasting of interviews and prayer videos from the General Conference starting at 8:00 a.m. Philippine Standard Time. The programs continued throughout the day, one after another, through various media platforms. According to regional church leaders, the daily messages and sermons focused primarily on prayer and personal devotion under this crisis.
“We praise God for the great number of people watching live,” leaders said. According to church data, the combined number of people who watched and participated through the Family Ministries and SSD Facebook pages and the three Hope Channel stations was well above 10,000.
Church leaders said that the initiative and program brought the Adventist church family together across the region and helped strengthen the marriage and family relationships of its members through prayer.
“Even under social distancing, we realize that we could remain connected through prayer, and we strongly believe that God's intervention will happen according to His will, and in His own time,” leaders said. “God answers our prayers, not because we are always faithful to Him, but because He is always faithful to His children!”