COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness

Let’s Start Talking is carefully monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and it’s affect on our volunteers and partners.  We are regularly monitoring the following official sources of information: World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, and the U.S. Department of State. Additionally we are in touch with those who host LST projects at each of our sites.  Due to the dynamic nature of this event we are making decisions on a daily and weekly basis in order to continue sending people responsibly.  Below are additional details and/or updates to our response.

UPDATES:

3/12/2020 – Email update about LST actions in response to COVID-19

Dear Let’s Start Talking Family,

You are a valued member of the Let’s Start Talking family and I want to update you on LST, COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), and the steps we are taking to send international LST workers responsibly.   As a result of the global outbreak, and in response to the recent travel restrictions announced by the US Government (and the subsequent travel warnings produced by the CDC, WHO and US Department of State), LST is taking the following actions:

  1. LST is rescheduling LST projects that were slated to leave during the months of April or May. Those teams will be rescheduled to go June 1 or later.
  2. As of this writing, all LST projects due to depart June 1 and following are still a “go.” We are working under the assumption that all of these projects will occur as planned.
  3. We will hold off on ticketing those LST teams until April 15. By this date we believe it likely that the US travel restrictions against foreign nationals of Europe will be lifted.  We also anticipate that we’ll have a much better understanding of the effect of global actions against the COVID-19.  On this date we plan to start ticketing teams and conduct any necessary reassessing of our sites and projects.
  4. On the home front, to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, all multi-team training events scheduled between now and June 1 will be held online. Additionally, all summer End Meetings for our college teams will be held online.

During times of international stress the Let’s Start Talking Ministry engages three important “F’s”:

Facts –  We actively look at all the facts pertinent to the situation.  Presently we monitor the Center For Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Department of State, and other appropriate organizations that provide updated and timely facts.  We interact with our international hosts and missionaries to determine local conditions.  LST works to make decisions based on facts.

Fear –  We also realize that in addition to facts, there’s an emotional element at work.  There are both good and bad elements to fear and we work to recognize the spiritual components of each side.  Facts and fears allow LST to engage both our logic and emotions in decision-making.

Faith –  The most important “F” is Faith.  We pray, asking God for guidance and good decisions.  We acknowledge that traveling and sharing Good News is always about Faith.

The leadership team at LST is committed to responsible decisions when sending people around the world to share Jesus.  These three F’s are the backbone of our decision-making process.

Please pray with us as we try to balance present needs with long-term forecasting.  In other words, we work one day out and up to a year into the future on joint decision-making with all of our ministry partners.  In the last two weeks we have moved or rescheduled LST teams going to China, South Korea and Italy.  Each team is waiting for a safer time for those locations or has been rescheduled for another country and project.  Presently, we are monitoring several sites in partnership with local leaders and team members.  We are committed to making nimble, quick and appropriate decisions.  As always, we commit our safety and well-being to God and His provision.

Even in the midst of this season of uncertainty about COVID-19 we are living in faith that opportunities will be numerous for sharing Jesus in many countries.  LST is committed to growing the Kingdom of God around the world and across the street.  May God give us even more opportunities to share Jesus.

In Him,

Scott Lambert, Executive Director, Let’s Start Talking