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Our BMS Mission Partners in the Covid -19 Crisis

20 April 2020

As we share new experiences of Christian living and of how God is working in the Coronavirus crisis in the UK, it is good to widen our vision and recognise that this is a global issue. We have recently been in direct contact with our BMS Mission Partners in France and in Chad who have shared some of their experience.

First John and Sue Wilson in Paris where they pastor the Avenue du Maine Baptist Church, have many similar experiences to ours as France continues in strict lockdown. The church building has had to close and their majority older congregation are often less tech connected, so that each Sunday John sends out by email (which most have) an Order of Service with pauses indicating the relevant moments when “someone will speak, read, or share prayers”. This is not ideal but John says that it looks like public gatherings will not be allowed in France until mid-July, so that ,even though some will return to work on 11th May, churches will remain firmly closed for the foreseeable future. A further issue is that the Church’s regular help to the homeless and poor is severely restricted.

Both John and Sue have themselves had bad bouts of the virus and had to isolate for lengthy periods – though happily they are now much recovered. Like us they are in much more regular contact with their adult children and thankful for that.

Please pray for their health; for finding new ways to keep the church together; and for those who depend on the church spiritually and practically.

Second Mark and Andrea Hotchkin in Chad where they are 2 of only 4 doctors in Bardai – a remote outpost in the northern Tibesti region near to the Libyan border. Their experience has been very different.

As the UK and most of Europe was going into lockdown Mark and Andrea sent a graphic account of how they had to “make room for the unexpected” when up to 20 badly injured soldiers were brought in after a 300km drive from a battle on the frontier. They spent a week dealing with bullet wounds and desperate injuries with head torches and no operating lamps. This really is the frontline of surgery.

There have been very few cases of Covid -19 registered in Chad so far, but the Government has called for a serious lockdown. This might work in cities like N’djamena but in the remote north the local people feel it does not yet concern them. Some schools remain open and on a recent Saturday “ a big wedding took place – with people coming in dozens across the officially – closed border “  Mark and Andrea have been producing leaflets to explain the dangers of a pandemic and a brief film to pass round on mobile phones. They work in the hospital with home – made surgical masks and limited hand-washing facilities and with all the regular medical and surgical cases continuing.

The Hotchkins are due to be on Home Leave in the summer and to visit MBC in September. However, they have put this on hold at present – volunteering to stay on as they want to help when the pandemic really strikes in their area. They clearly are missing their adult daughters in the UK but feel God has placed them in Bardai at this time.

Please pray for their safety; for success of the health education about the virus; that coronavirus may not spread further in Chad; and for their daughters Ruth and Rebecca.


BMS has mission personnel around the world facing situations like these. The churches they work with are our brothers and sisters in Christ and their self-giving is an amazing testimony to the love of Christ.

Please remember them in your prayers and – whilst some of our usual ways of supporting BMS financially through the church cannot function at present – perhaps you could send help directly to BMS either:

  • By card via the website
  • Or by Bank Transfer to BMS World Mission Sort Code 20-01-25 Acc no 40132322
  • Or by cheque to BMS World Mission

PO Box 49, 129 Broadway

Didcot OX11 8XA

Thank You


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