From ANN – 11 February 2020 |  Seventh-day Adventists are being asked to pray and show Christlike compassion as the new coronavirus claims its first church member in China and threatens to disrupt public mission work in various parts of the world.

In China, the local branch of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency is shipping in protective gear to help health authorities deal with the viral outbreak that has killed more than 1,000 people, all but two in China, and infected more than 42,000 others worldwide, said Robert Folkenberg Jr., president of the Adventist Church’s Chinese Union Mission.

In addition, church members are assisting Chinese health workers in every possible way, he said.

“Our brothers and sisters in China are leaning daily on the strength of the Lord,” he said by email. “They are also doing all they can to support hospitals and front-line health workers during this difficult time. Your prayers of support will mean so much to them.”

Few details were available about the church member who died. At least five other church members are known to be battling the infection in China, Folkenberg said. Many Adventist churches are located in Hubei, the Chinese province where the outbreak originated.

Little is known about coronavirus. It is believed to begin with a fever, followed by a dry cough and, after a week, shortness of breath, the BBC reported. To avoid catching the virus, the news agency recommends washing hands with soap or hand gels, not touching the eyes, nose, and mouth, and staying a yard (meter) away from people who are coughing.

The Adventist News Network (ANN) is the official news agency of the Adventist denomination.

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