I’m really starting to get tired of you.
I’m tired of the way you speak fear to people.
I’m tired of way that everyone talks about you. Until you show up. Then no one speaks your name. It’s almost speaking of death itself.
I’m tired of seeing the way you make people suffer. The way you suck the air out of people. Literally. How person after person has tried to tell me how hard it is for them to breathe but they can’t even get enough air in their lungs to tell me they can’t breath. But they don’t need to say it. I see it. I see you. And I don’t think I even need to say your name. They know it. No one needs to say your name. So we’ll just avoid the word ‘virus’ all together.
I’m tired of watching so much suffering with medicines in hand but feeling so empty handed. Seeing so much pain with no way of properly treating it nor a treatment that’s proved to safely work.
I’m tired of this pit that you have left in my stomach. This pit that tells me that I might as well not waste my time on the person that you have clearly already claimed as your victim. This pit that in one moment has a little bit of hope that things might get better, just to be crushed by the text I read the following morning saying the family doesn’t need the medicines anymore. They are buying a casket instead.
I’m tired of the way you make people buy any and every pill because they are desperate to have something, anything to help their loved one to breath again. As if every ounce of their hope is in put in this pill that will finally be the one to heal them. Have you seen what you make people do to buy medicine? The way they have to stand in pharmacy lines for hours. Literally hours. With not even the confidence that they will find the meds there. Because if they don’t find them in the first pharmacy, they’ll go wait endless hours in the next line. Just to leave pharmacies empty of medications. Now you’ve made me not just wait in line for the list of meds for patients, but instead search what feels like every pharmacy in this city to attempt to complete my patients med list. Each time I leave downtown, you twist my stomach just a little more as I try to figure out what I’m going to say to the family member of the sick person whose meds I couldn’t find that day.
I’m tired of the power you think you have over people. Trampling through our cities and homes. With something so simple as a cough, you weasel your way into another innocent victims life. All the while deciding how badly this person will be affected. Will you make them suffer a few weeks? Linger awhile. Maybe you just need someone to pass you a little further, so you hide in the shadows and don’t make yourself known to them. Just to have the next person die a cruel death thanks to you.
I’m tired of the way you have overwhelmed and collapsed our health care system. Exhausting all our efforts in tracking you down and containing you to leave us with nothing to offer care for the people who are sick with any other disease. Disease that we know how to cure! But you like the steal the show, taking all the attention and energy, don’t you?
I’m tired of the way people refuse to go to the only few hospitals left open because they know when they enter, they won’t leave again unless it’s in a bag. And actually, I’m tired of how you keep closing hospital after hospital. Almost as if you smile and check another one off your list while we hang our heads and shut the doors to another opportunity of aid.
I’m tired of the way you take ones life. The way you steal their mourning with lack of a funeral. The way you make them dig their own grave (literally).
I’m TIRED of you.
But am I surprised you’re here? No..
Do I think you’ll be leaving anytime soon? No..
So while you’re here, you should know a few things…
My joy is not found in my health.
Which means you can’t steal it.
My hope is not found in the “good days” or the easy days.
Which means you can’t rob me of it.
And my peace is not found in any pill. Which means that I still got it.
Your darkness cannot put out my light.
If anything, darkness just makes the light shine brighter.
Your grave it has no power.
Because there is a grave that conquered death already. And it doesn’t hold a body.
So welcome COVID. As much as we would like to see you go, more specifically as much as I would like to see you go, we know you’ll be around for awhile.
But as you stay, realize this one thing.. You think you’re winning. But you lost before you even started.
Your darkness.. it cannot… it has not.. and it will not.. put out our light.
Our hope isn’t found in you. And our hope isn’t even found in a cure.
Our hope is in Jesus Christ.
Riley Brinkman, RN, Iquitos Peru
**To make a gift to support the fight against the Coronavirus, click https://goservglobal.org/give/ – Choose “Coronavirus Relief” in the dropdown and write “Peru” in the note
So many have been asking how to support Riley and those affected by the Coronavirus in Peru. You can make a gift here – https://goservglobal.org/give/, Choose “Coronavirus Relief” in the dropdown, and write “Peru” in the note.
COVID-19 Update from Riley Brinkman, an RN & Missionary in Iquitos, Peru
Since the beginning of quarantine, curfew hours have only become more strict, the military presence has only increased, the state of emergency continues to be extended, airports and business continue to be closed, prices continue to rise, and the hope of getting life back to “normal” for the rest of 2020 looks slim.
The healthcare system in Iquitos is crashing. Our system was not equipped to handle a pandemic such as this one. With not enough beds for the sick, not enough protective equipment for the staff, not enough medicine for the hospitalized and not enough oxygen for anyone, people are dying everywhere. Not specifically from COVID but instead from the effects of what COVID has done. Sometimes it feels we have more sick and dying doctors and nurses than we do healthy. Some that remain have gone on strike. A number of pharmacies have closed doors.
Currently only two main hospitals remain open out of all the hospitals and clinics here in the city (one just for COVID patients and one for everyone else). However, reports have been started that one of the hospitals (for everything not COVID) will be closing this week, leaving us with one hospital and only treating those with COVID. **The population of Iquitos is 462,000**
First off, I am safe and I am healthy. Confident it is only by the grace and strength from our Sovereign Father and the prayers you all have covered me in. (And for that, I thank you!!). My ministry looks very different now. It feels like 12-hour shifts at Mercy Hospital again, but now I’m never actually off duty. My phone never stops ringing or dinging with a new patient or someone else needing meds. I have been on what feels like hundreds of house visits. I have passed out thousands of pills (the majority being vitamins, Tylenol – which has been out of stock for more than 2 weeks here! – decongestants, and antibiotics).
I have studied more and even harder than I think I ever did in nursing school because in school I studied to pass a test; here I study in hopes of helping someone heal. I have put in IVs in places where my shoes get stuck in the dirt as chickens run across my feet. This place has stretched me and grown me. It has broken me and opened my eyes.
To my already tired soul that was ready for a much-needed rest in the US, the long days became draining. It was a struggle in the beginning – not truly knowing how to treat people in such a place as this. Certain that care in the hospitals must be better than the care I could provide in home (as I come with nothing more than meds/IVs, my stethoscope, BP cuff, gloves, mask, and a heart determined to find out what is truly going on with this person).
Countless times I’ve wanted to order a chest X-ray or simple blood draw only to look down at my empty hands and around at the dirt floor and boards leaning against each other to create what they call their four walls. I have never learned to be more depended on God than what I have in this time. Seeking wisdom from the Holy Spirit in every step. Going where He tells me to, but more importantly, NOT going where He tells me not to go.
It has been a roller coaster of times. Draining and challenging, heartbreaking and discouraging, rewarding and encouraging, death and life. I have never been more thankful for the training I received in school and in the hospital, training to help me be aware and conscious of sickness and how not to spread it. I have also never been more excited to use my gifts and see the passion that I had wrestled with for so long here finally come to life. It’s amazing how His ways are always higher, if only we let Him write our story.
Please hear me, friends, this has not been a moment of bashing on the healthcare system here, but instead the reason for why it inspires me to do what I’m currently doing.
During this time, I would covet your prayers!
Biblical education helps the very poor escape their current life path. Children born to poor parents have a very weak or no education. In Guatemala, when the boys turn 12, they head to the fields and become day labors where they make $10 a day. Once grown men, they will receive $14 a day.
The girls have their paths laid out as well. At age 14, they are expected to find a husband or their families will find one for them. Most of these girls will have their first child before their 17th birthday. A biblical world view and biblical education is the best way to break this cycle and give these children a fighting chance in life. –Mark Lee, GoServ Global Guatemala Director
To help a child out of poverty, consider sponsorship, starting at $35/month
**Riley Brinkman, Genesis Church
What do you think of when you see a white flag like this? Most people think surrender.
For us.. It means desperation.
It means the household has no more food.
It means the family living inside is down to nothing.
It means the people in that house have decided to set aside the shame of poverty and put out a sign to show they need help.
And although the number of houses with white flags outside is surprising, the number of houses in the same need/desperation without a white flag outside is even more heart-wrenching.
Living Day to Day
The people of Iquitos live life on a day to day salary. There is no hoarding or stock piling groceries and toilet paper because there is only enough to buy for today. April 22nd (today) marks day 38 of quarantine. It marks 38 days of people not being able to work nor make an income. It marks 38 days of people struggling to get by just one more day.
We knew that it didn’t matter that the physical doors of the church had been closed – we needed to BE the church.
BE the CHURCH
A few weeks ago, one of our pastors here at Genesis Church along with two other leaders begin distributing bags of food to the church members who expressed that they were without food. The more we began to help, the more we realized we needed more people distributing because the problem was much bigger than one could imagine.
Some people had gone days without food before we started the ministry of distributing food bags. To date, over 200 bags of food have been given out in just a short period of time. As the quarantine continues to drag on, people continue to run out of food and basic needs day after day. But we as church are determined to continue striving to be the hands and feet of Jesus here in Iquitos, one bag of food at a time.
Prayers & Support Needed
We ask you and invite you to prayerfully consider supporting us in this mission. Distributing food to those in need is only possible with the financial and prayerful support of others.
This quarantine has also meant no church services, and based on unofficial announcements here, it doesn’t look like that will be changing anytime in the near future. On top of the growing need of food and basic needs of our church body, it has left us as a church receiving less financial support as well. We are continuing to pay staff and bills but finances are running low during this time. If your heart is so moved to give and support during this time, you can go to our website link below and donate!
To give, go to:
and click ‘Coronavirus Relief in the dropdown’ and write ‘Peru’ in the note
Thanks to everyone who has given to GoServ Global since our Facebook Live Event two weeks ago! So far, we have reached $93,000 toward our $150,000 goal!
If you haven’t already, consider giving to GoServ Global. Your gift of any size will have a big impact.
Here are a few ways you can give:
1. Text HOPE to 80888
2. Give online at https://goservglobal.org/give/
3. Mail your donation to GoServ Global, PO Box 193, Eagle Grove, IA 50533
COVID-19 has affected our whole world. Our lives have been turned upside down and everything feels crazy and uncertain. We are struggling to find new normals in this unprecedented time, I’m sure you are too.
All of us at GoServ Global want to take this time to let you know that we are praying for you. You have been such a blessing to us over the years! We have been blown away by your generosity and support. For all the people who give, volunteer, go on trips with us, and pray for us, we thank you. We truly love our GoServ Global family!
As we navigate the days ahead, know that #WeAreInThisTogether! May you be encouraged by the words of this song … that God is with us and for us.
GoServ Global needs your help as we end 2019. Currently, we are 20% toward our year-end goal of $600,000. Your year-end gift TODAY will allow us to continue serving children, widows and families in great need around the world.
If you have given to GoServ Global on Giving Tuesday or have already provided a year-end gift, we sincerely thank you for your continued support! We invite you to pray with us that others would be moved to come alongside all of us in this ministry.
If you have not yet given, there is much to be done and we need your help. Please consider a one-time gift today or sign up to be a monthly giver.
Become a MONTHLY DONOR
Sign up for an automatic gift through your debit or credit card at goservglobal.org/give.
Give a ONE TIME GIFT
Your one-time donation will help us continue to transform lives around the world.
MAIL IN Your Donation
PO Box 193
Eagle Grove, Iowa 50533