Connecting Arizona Churches and Hospitals in the COVID-19 Crisis
I am writing to you following a challenging phone call from Senator Martha McSally.
When I spoke with the Senator on Saturday about the COVID-19 crisis, she informed me of the overwhelming challenges facing our Arizona health care professionals, first responders, and their families.
She appealed to me to reach out to our pastors for help and asked if BridgeBuilders would assist in connecting hospital leadership with church leadership during this pandemic.
As you know, our state is preparing for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases over the next two to three weeks. If, in fact, we see this surge, then we can expect that the needs will only increase.
However, I’m excited to tell you that Arizona pastors already are enthusiastically responding to the crisis!
We now are working with Pastor Waylon Sears of Victory Worship Center, Tucson, and Pastor Dan Steffen, Pure Heart Church, Glendale, to expand and manage the network of churches that have come on board. Together we are finding effective ways for churches to partner with hospitals in this critical time.
Senator McSally is connecting us with CEOs of hospital groups and yesterday she joined us for a virtual meeting with 90 pastors from across the state.
During the meeting we heard from pastors with successful working models of how churches can partner with hospitals. Victory Worship Center and Christ Church of the Valley (CCV), for example, have turned a portion of their church facilities into a day care center for children of health care professionals, placing eight children to a room with two children’s workers. VWC also has helped set up and manage a day care center directly on one of the hospital’s premises.
Other churches are holding blood drives, providing health care workers with grocery and pharmacy deliveries, home services, and care packages, which include notes bearing prayers and words of encouragement.
You can be a valuable part of the team through your prayers. Please pray for BridgeBuilders and the pastors who are spearheading this statewide Hospital/Church Partnership Initiative. Leadership teams are forming in the northern, central and southern portions of the state. More information is available at bridgebuilders.net.
Cheryl and I also are on weekly calls with the White House Office of Public Liaison and receive frequent communications from the Governor’s office and members of our State and U.S. Congress.
As a result, we are able to share the most up-to-date information on how to pray strategically for our state and nation.
In fact, just as we were finishing up this email, Cheryl and I were invited to be on a conference call with Vice President Mike Pence, who made an appeal for prayer for our heroic health care workers.
Please join us in praying for these vital workers who are risking their lives and that of their families in this fight against COVID-19. And be sure to join us online each Monday for Watchmen Noon Hour Prayer.
- Father, we thank you for the first responders and all the medical professionals who are on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19.
- During this time of extreme stress and real danger, would You shield them from disease and strengthen them supernaturally to withstand the physical and emotional toll this is taking on so many.
- We pray for Your peace in the homes and hospitals of Arizona, that fear and panic would have no place in the hearts of patients or caregivers. May Your angels encamp there and bring the atmosphere of heaven with them!
- We pray for the families of our health care workers, that they would not get infected as a result of having a family member working in a dangerous environment and that they would have grace for this very difficult time.
- We declare Your promises in Psalm 91 over all first responders and health care professionals as they work and in their coming in and their going out, that according to Your word the plague would not touch them!
- We pray for all those making critical decisions during this time: our Governor and state officials, local mayors, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Vice President Pence, and President Trump. We ask for heavenly wisdom, peace and stamina for them. We pray that their advisors would give them right counsel and that they also would hear and heed the counsel of the Lord.
- We pray for everyone who is infected, that they would be healed, recover quickly and receive the care they need. Lord, we ask You to stop the spread of COVID-19 across Arizona and the nation.
- Father, thank you for Arizona’s dedicated pastors who are stepping up to meet the needs of health care workers and first responders. We ask YOU to give strategic direction and resources to BridgeBuilders and the pastor teams that are leading Arizona’s Hospital/Church Partnership Initiative. Cause the working relationships to be highly successful to meet these critical needs.
- We ask that during this time of uncertainty and economic upheaval that our nation would turn to You like never before, drawing close to You and that You would turn this national crisis into something that would end up being the greatest blessing, the Next Great Awakening!