As part of REVIVE Sunday 2020, we asked some keyworkers within the Co-Mission network to share their story - to hear about the challenges and encouragements they’ve faced, as they seek to live distinctively for Christ on the frontline and opportunities they’ve had to share the gospel with those around them.
REUBEN FROMOW’S STORY
(Reuben attends Roehampton Student Church)
Coronavirus has presented an issue for every person, in every part of the nation, regardless of what they do. Whether that change has been large or small, nobody in society has gone without feeling its effects.
My name’s Reuben. I graduated from uni last year, and I’ve found myself working in a drugs and alcohol rehab residential care home! My week involves five shifts, of eight hours each, but often this will take the form of a doubled-up shift, where I’ll work sixteen hours in a row overnight. That means that, on an average week, I’ll be working in the kitchen and doing other project-worker tasks for one day, and do night shifts (which just involves keeping everything ticking over) for the remaining two days.
Despite not having been impacted too harshly by Covid personally (aside from the madness that is the district line right now), the people I work with have felt its effects very keenly. Alcoholics in recovery are, in many respects, those who are learning to be people again. That means that many of them are trying their hardest to set up a structure to their lives, but for a lot of them Covid has caused that structure to feel less like a firm foundation and more like a tower of cards – especially so when they can’t visit many of the people they’re relying on for emotional support. When a problem like coronavirus emerges, it can create a rather stressful environment as they don’t feel like they have the coping mechanisms to be able to deal with the issues they’re currently facing.
Due to the confidential nature of my work, I can’t talk about any specific conversations I’ve been having with the people that I work with. That said, the coronavirus scenario has allowed me to have a lot of discussions with them around the idea of suffering, with questions such as, ‘Why do bad things happen?’ and ‘Is God fully in control?’ It’s been a real blessing to be able to share a message of hope with my colleagues in the face of despair, and to be a reminder that there is a God who holds our suffering in the palm of his hand. I feel like it might have taken a pandemic to realise this, but the ability to say that God is sovereign even over the bad things is far more comforting than having to say, ‘Nobody is in control.’ It’s also been a real encouragement that, during this time, Roehampton Student Church (woop woop!) is growing, with curious people looking into our online services to figure out who Jesus really is.
Going forward, I’d love prayer that, during this time, I’d be able to resume evangelism in an effective way to my friends, as we are finally able to meet up again!
To hear more stories from frontline keyworkers, watch the roundtable filmed discussion here. This story was collected with others as part of REVIVE Sunday – visit co-mission.org/revive for other content for this event.