Many of us across the world are experiencing a surge in cases of Covid-19 in our respective countries and therefore our governments are introducing more and more restrictions. These restrictions (although useful and very important in combatting Covid-19) mean that more and more people are suffering mental health challenges. Social isolation, fear of the unknown illness, fear of job loss and so much more are a perfect breeding ground for anxiety, depression and other mental health illness. How do we stay mentally healthy? Here is a simple list of ways that may help you and your loved ones.
- If possible, go outside in daylight (wear a mask). Allow the sun to shine on you. It will create vitamin D which in turn has a positive effect on the immune system. It will also help to keep SAD (seasonal affected disorder) at bay. God created the sun to strengthen our bodies and minds. If you are not able (or don’t feel safe) going outside, open a window and sit enjoying the feel of the sun on your face.
- Exercise. This can take many forms. Do whatever you enjoy (not all sporting facilities may be open for use at this time). Walking, running, light aerobic exercises at home (Youtube has a multitude of great videos). Get food cans and put them in a bag and use them to do bicep curls and other strength based exercises. Stretch. Use your stairs (if you have them) to do step ups (holding a light weight in each hand).
- Schedule your day. Plan tasks for each day. Take five minutes every evening and work out what you are going to do and when you are going to do it. Decide what time you need to be up and set an alarm.
- Spend time with God. Read the Bible. Listen to worship music. Feed your soul.
- Engage with people. If possible meet family and friends. You may need to be creative, meet someone outside and go for a walk. Even wearing masks you can see each others eyes and pray for one another. Connect into church events via Skype or Zoom if your church offers online programs. Call your loved ones and talk. Many services such as WhatsApp and Viber offer free phone and video calls.
- Enjoy the little things. Stop and take time to enjoy a tea or coffee. Take your time to enjoy any plants or flowers you may have. Examine each leaf, each petal. See how God created them so beautifully. Remember you are far more precious to Him than any plant.
- Eat your meals slowly. If alone, try to read or listen to music while having your meals rather than sitting in front of the television. If with loved ones, engage in non-Covid related conversation.
- Make sure to clean up. Put time aside to wash your dishes, tidy your home, make your bed. Put on some up-beat music. Sing and dance as you do your chores (even if you don’t want to). You will find yourself smiling and enjoying how silly you are. Small achievements such as a cleaner home can have a big impact on your well-being.
- Take Vitamin B every morning. Vitamin B is medically proven to help improve our mental health. It takes time, but after two or three weeks you will begin to notice that your mood has improved and you will feel less stressed.
- Reduce time watching or reading Covid-19 related news. Rather, take that time to watch an educational documentary or enjoy a fun comedy series.
- Reach out. Tell someone if you are struggling. Be real with people and they will be real with you. Cry if you need. Crying can be a very healthy emotional response and a wonderful way to cleanse the soul of hurts.
These are just a few ways to help you cope. It is by no means an exhaustive list. It is imperfect. Remember this is a unique time in history and no-one was prepared for how it would effect us. You are not failing. We are all doing our best in difficult times. Hold on to the hope we have in God.
Psalm 25:5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long.
I spent the last few days in both Kiev and Rivne, Ukraine. The purpose of my visit was manifold and it was a blessed weekend!
I was able to visit the rehabilitation centre near Rivne where we currently have five men receiving care. I also got to spend time with those men who have moved on from the rehabilitation centre to a type of halfway house as they begin to re-enter society.
I also got to visit and speak with the widows and mother’s of soldiers who died in the conflict with Russia. I also met some of the folks from the camp last year when I worked with the soldiers suffering from PTSD. It was a joy to see smiling faces and heart breaking to see the tears of the those women who had lost loved ones.
On Sunday I spoke at the local church (whose members are very supportive of both the rehabilitation centre and of the ministry to soldiers and their families). A number of the men from the rehabilitation centre are being transformed through the healing power of God and are living free of drugs and alcohol.
Please pray for a young I met and witnessed to. ‘P’ told me he was happy and that life was good. I felt the Holy Spirit urge me to challenge him. I told him he was unhappy and using alcohol and drugs to suppress his need for God. I could see from the way his face changed that those words struck him as true. I got his number and the leader of our rehab centre has promised to follow up with him.
My very good friend Peter Blundell blessed me by his company all through the trip and he connected amazingly with so many people! He did have a bad accident on Saturday evening and we spent several hours in a local hospital. Please pray for his full recovery (he is doing great and on his way home to England). He was an inspiration to so many this past weekend.
I had the pleasure of being with the Ball family in Arad, Romania these past two days. The Balls (Spencer, Lynsey, Trinity and Jonathan) are working with the poorest of the poor and serving Christ faithfully. Their love and huge hearts for reaching the unloved is so very evident. In the photo above you can see the kids skipping with home-made ropes that Spencer and Lynsey bring their weekly kids Bible group in Vinga (a village near Arad).
Part of the ministry is that the Ball family help to provide food, clothing, medicine and pastoral care to these Roma (Gypsy) communities. Very few people are reaching these little ones…
Would you be willing to support this ministry? If the Lord puts this family and their ministry on your hearts then please contact me for further details.
Over the past months, I have enjoyed working on a writing project in my free time. So you want to be a missionary… is a concise handbook for those considering becoming a missionary, for supporters of those on the mission field and for family and friends of those serving on the mission field. It is available in both paperback and Kindle format from Amazon. A portion of the profits will go to support the persecuted church. Just click on the link below or copy and paste into your browser if you would like to purchase this book.
I, (Gerry) am currently in Kiev on a trip exploring possibilities of developing partnerships here to see Kingdom expansion.
Originally I was going to Rivne to visit Free Methodists there, encourage and teach them. Sadly they family are unwell and therefore I am using my time in Kiev to visit churches, pastors and look at what Christian materials they have available (in Russian and Ukrainian) for our leaders.
So far I have four meetings set up and appreciate your prayers that these would go well and be a blessing to all involved.
The coming weeks certainly look very busy indeed as I have a fairly full speaking schedule. I will be speaking in three different countries and presenting about the work in Hungary and in the Middle-East. I’m looking forward to meeting old friends and making some new ones! I hope I will be able to see you on one of these occasions. If we haven’t met yet, please do come up after the presentation and say hi. Below are the dates and I will update this post if any other dates come along. If your church, Bible study group, cell group etc would be interested in having me visit then please do contact me as soon as possible. I still have some free dates for Ireland, USA and of course Hungary and the surrounding area.
June 7th: Budapest, Hungary – Szabad Metodista Gyülekezet (1030-1200) (Kathy and girls will be with me)
June 21st: Limerick, Ireland – Mallow Street Christian Fellowship (1100-1300) (Zsuzsi, Katica and Mecseri Zsolt will be with me)
June 21st: Castlebar, Ireland – Calvary Chapel (1730-1930)
June 22nd: Shannon, Ireland – Shannon Christian Church (2000-2200) (Zsuzsi, Katica and Mecseri Zsolt will be with me)
July 5th: Budapest, Hungary – Szabad Metodista Gyülekezet (1030-1200) (Kathy and girls will be with me)
July 18th and 19th: Batavia, NY, USA – Northgate Free Methodist Church (July 18th at 6pm. July 19th at 0930 and 1100).
July 23rd: Cattaraugus, NY, USA – Cattaraugus Family Camp
July 24th: Pleasantville, PA, USA – Pleasantville Family Camp
July 26th: Warsaw, NY, USA – Valley Chapel Free Methodist Church (0900)
July 27th – 31st: Galion, OH, USA – Vocational Bible School at Gracepoint, Galion.
Christmas is upon us once again! We would like to wish all our friends a blessed and merry Christmas! Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season! Check out the link for an e-video from us to you!
I (Gerry) am truly grateful to be back in Hungary for three days over the Christmas period. Some of you know where I am and what I am doing. The work is going amazingly well, myself and the other workers here are privileged and honoured to be apart of what God is doing in this part of the world. We are thankful for new lives in Christ, for the fact that we can meet in relative safety and that we see great spiritual and physical growth here. In what is possibly the darkest and most dangerous place for Christians in the world we see the love of Christ. If you want to know more please write to Kathy, not to me! Please do not share this post on the internet, I am willing to give my all for Christ but do not want to have this ministry adversely affected because of it been seen by the wrong people. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!
Please do take some time to look around the blog, posts are put up on a regular basis and you may have missed one or two over the past months. Again we wish you a merry Christmas and a blessed new year!
Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
With the help of Littleton Vineyard, (a church in Littleton, Colorado) chickens were purchased for two needy families in Táp, Hungary. The families are going to have enough eggs for themselves as well as be able to sell the eggs and buy more chickens in the future.
We are very grateful to all who contributed to make a difference in this small village.Thank you to Calvin Downs, the associate pastor of Littleton Vineyard who came to Táp with the money for the seeds and chickens and of course thank you to all who gave. Thank you to Lainey and Roy Hitchman for making the contact between Hungary and the USA. It was a privilege to translate between Calvin and the mayor of Táp and witness a mutual agreement in wanting to help those in need.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4
Exciting times are ahead!
Csilla has just started university in Veszprém this week. Zsuzsi and Katica are starting tomorrow. It is Zsuzsi’s third and Katica’s first year in high school. Please pray for a great school year for them and the other students.
Today Zsuzsi, Katica and I delivered the school supplies, some food and other essencials we purchased for the childrens home. The social workers and the children were very thankful.
Thank you to those who gave towards this and are praying for us. Every contribution makes a difference, however small! “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” /2 Corinthians.9:7/
Please continue to pray as I (Kathy) begin helping some of the children and maybe a staff member with their English at the home.
Take time to look at the pictures we took today. As you can see the kids were really happy for the gifts. 🙂
Blessings from the McNamara family!