We hope that by now, all Seventh Day Baptists are aware that the next Sessions of the Seventh Day Baptist World Federation are scheduled for Brazil, January 22-28, 2017. That is a mere 8 months away. We also know that if one is keeping abreast of international news these days, the country of Brazil is regularly featured in at least two uncomplimentary ways. The first one is that the country’s Senate voted last week (May 19) to suspend its President, Mrs. Dilma Rousseff, and begin an impeachment trial against her. The turbulence leading up to this latest political move, has led to Brazil’s worst economic crisis in decades. It causes some people to wonder if Brazil is a secure and stable place to visit at this time.
The second crisis facing the country is the presence of the Zika virus, which is primarily spread by mosquitoes. That has also certainly raised some concerns in the minds of people. The Seventh Day Baptist World Federation is committed to being responsible and alert to relevant matters as the planning for the Sessions intensifies. The travel advisory is very clear: if you are pregnant, do not travel to Brazil. However, other travelers may visit Brazil without fear of irresponsible risk. The Summer Olympics are scheduled for Rio de Janeiro later this year, and although in some quarters there have been calls for a canceling or relocation of the Games, so far plans are moving ahead as scheduled.
What then should one do? Please prayerfully continue to make your plans to travel to Brazil. Further, we make the following suggestions:
- Check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website to educate yourself – www.cdc.gov.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellants that contain at least 20% DEET spray.
- Use the N’visible1e patch.
- Cover exposed skin as much as possible.
- Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens, if possible.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net, if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available.
So, these two matters which personally and directly affect our brothers and sisters in Brazil, and us by extension, are matters for prayer. And the SDB World Federation will continue to work diligently to do all that is humanly possible, to plan and coordinate a dynamic week of Spirit-filled activities for the glory of the Lord and the edification of our global Seventh Day Baptist family. We do depend on the Lord to do what we cannot do, and we appreciate your help in every area possible.