An Arkansas pastor who was recently struck with the deadly coronavirus along with his wife, Dena, and more than 30 others connected to his church is now warning others not to underestimate how dangerous the virus is and treat it with “wisdom and restraint.”
“There was very little in my training for the ministry that covered the full measure of what our church family has dealt with in the past few weeks,” pastor Mark Palenske of Greers Ferry First Assembly in Cleburne County said in a statement on Facebook Sunday.
“The intensity of this virus has been underestimated by so many, and I continue to ask that each of you take it very seriously. An act of wisdom and restraint on your part can be the blessing that preserves the health of someone else.”
The church didn’t immediately respond to calls from The Christian Post for comment, but Donald Shipp, a deacon of the church, told The Arkansas Democrat Gazette on Monday that at least 34 people connected with the church have tested positive for the virus and several others are still awaiting results. All of them attended a children’s event held at the church from March 5-8.
Of those who tested positive for the virus, 31 are on staff at the church or are members, Shipp said. The others are two evangelists who led the children’s event and a child who was visiting.
As of Tuesday, Arkansas had 218 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. The state also confirmed a 91-year-old man as their first death from the disease.
Palenske warned on his Facebook page that the virus is “highly contagious” and his wife got so sick she had to be hospitalized along with several other members of their church.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair