As churches across Illinois and the U.S. gathered for online worship amid the Coronavirus pandemic, Pastor Tim Lewis shared a video update from quarantine at his home. Lewis, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Troy, contracted COVID-19 while on a mission trip to Ukraine.
In the 8-minute clip on YouTube, Lewis said he self-quarantined after traveling home from the overseas trip. He developed flu-like symptoms, including a persistent cough, headache, low-grade fever, and lethargy. When they worsened, Lewis sought a COVID-19 test at a drive-thru testing facility in St. Louis. He was informed March 20 he had tested positive for the virus. He’s recuperating at home while his wife, Cristie, stays with family.
“I’m getting stronger day by day,” Lewis said. “In all of it, God’s been with us, and blessed us.”
The pastor didn’t preach during his church’s online service March 22, but he did introduce the service with an update on his health and encouragement from Psalm 61.
“When the it seems like the whole earth is shaking, there’s sickness all around us, the stock market’s plunging, our jobs are in jeopardy, the economy is stifled, and governments are faltering, our God sits on the throne,” Lewis told his church. “He is our refuge and our strength, and he is our shelter.”
In his YouTube update, Lewis said God is in control, sovereign, wise, loving, good, and trustworthy. “And even when I’m sick, he’s with me.” The pastor then shared the gospel:
“The greatest pandemic to ever hit all of us is that sin caused us all to be separated from God,” Lewis said. “And sin has caused death to come to us all.
“But I know God loves me because he sent his son to die for my sins, so that I might be set free and healed and forgiven of all of my sin, and not die but have everlasting life.”
Photo: Pastor Tim Lewis welcomes worshipers to Bethel Baptist Church’s online service March 22.