There is concern among many Filipinos that our health care system is not prepared for this crisis. These challenges we’re facing make us afraid. We are prompted to look deep into our being as individual persons, and into the deepest reason of our existence as a community. With Love as our spiritual energy, we find our courage even as we suspend the operations of our social enterprise and our field programs.

”Coronavirus cases in the Philippines could reach 26,000 by the end of March if random spread is not contained.” Rappler.

We are strictly in compliance with the government’s 6-month national calamity declaration. This means a sort of lockdown over the whole country too.

We’re watching how the virus got out, exponentially spreading out through many countries with less population density compared to the Philippines. According to Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data, the current population of the Philippines is 109,172,738. The density is 368 per square kilometers. Our total land area is 298,170 square kilometers. 47.5 % of the population is urban—that is 52,008,603 people. This is more visible in the urban poor neighborhoods. We’re scared of the magnitude of the impact of this public health crisis in our country.

Coffee for Peace. “This CoViD19 pandemic casts fear among us,” Joji said to her management team during a recent online meeting. She continues, “Let us all think on what we could, and still apply justice in our decision-making process.”

Because of #CoViD19, the management of Coffee For Peace Café are reorganizing themselves and preparing their staff to be more health-safe in their food and beverage preparation—to help #FlattenTheCurve. They will be back as soon as they complete their preparation.‬

The management team of Coffee for Peace decided to prioritize the welfare of the employees and their families over profit. The coffee shop would continue paying a fraction of the staff salaries to help them survive economically. The post-processing farm will continue to operate since the three workers can continue their tasks while keeping more than the required distance from each other.

“As a social entrepreneur, I have to think of our workers at Coffee for Peace Café and their needs,” Joji said. “I have to think of our workers at Malipayon Peace Hub as they sort our coffee so that in their struggles to make ends meet while under community quarantine, their families will still survive, will eat, and will stay healthy.”

PeaceBuilders Community. Sihaya Ansibod, PBCI Director of Field Operations, shared her perspectives on the impact of CoViD19 lockdown on our peace and reconciliation ministries. In this video, she also shared how she’s using these ‘down time’ positively to enhance her field teams’ operations in the context of the new CoViD19 realities.

Dealing With Our Fear

“Do not be afraid” (Luke 12:7). The positive way of saying this is, “Be courageous.” The first step to deal with our fear is to be honest and say, “I’m afraid.” Then cry if you must. While crying, express that sense of fear to the Creator. Like a child to our Heavenly Parent, we can say “I’m afraid.” Then experience the embrace of the Loving Creator who welcomes our sense of helplessness without condescension, but rather with transcendent understanding. Immerse yourself in the ocean of the transcendent, unconditional love of the Creator.

Then think of the welfare of your loved-ones. Family. Friends. Be grateful for them. Forgive them. Embrace them in your heart. Text them. Listen to their fears—perhaps by reading their anxious posts. Send them a message. Assure them of the unconditional love and embrace of the Loving Creator. Remind them of your online presence even through 👍 and ❤️. Tell them, “Do not be afraid.”

Close your eyes. Smile. Open your eyes. Find a way to look up to the sky. Smile. Send the love-energies of your smiling face to the whole planet. Embrace the creation of the Loving Creator.

Imagine all the fearful faces of people you’ve seen on television and in social media. Smile. Send your love to them from the deepest part of your heart. Embrace them in your heart.

You are a funnel of the Creator’s Love. Allow the Creator to unclog your being of fear. Say, “Loving Creator, please let your love-energies flow in, and through, my being. Thank you.”

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