Pastor With Coronavirus Shares His Experience
A pastor from Illinois is sharing his experience with covid-19. The pastor contracted the virus while traveling to Ukraine for a missions trip. Now he is in quarantine and is sharing his experience along with the gospel on his church’s YouTube channel.
“The greatest pandemic to ever hit all of us is that sin caused us all to be separated from God and sin has caused death to come to us all,” Pastor Tim Lewis says in the video. “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,” he continued.
Pastor Tim Lewis of Bethel Baptist Church in Troy, Illinois went into self-quarantine after returning home from Ukraine. While traveling back to the U.S. from Kiev, Lewis had layovers in Munich, Germany and Atlanta, Georgia. He is currently in quarantine in his house in Illinois while his wife, Cristie, is staying with one of the couple’s four grown children. Lewis mentioned repeatedly throughout the video that he missed his family “incredibly” and that he missed the church he serves.
As hard as quarantine has been, though, looking back, Lewis says “I am so glad I didn’t go see my doctor or go to the emergency room. I stayed quarantined.” The pastor developed symptoms two days into his quarantine and called his doctor for advice, who directed him to the county health department. At first, the health department told Lewis he didn’t qualify to receive a test for covid-19, but after his symptoms continued to get worse, he was allowed to go to a drive-in test facility in nearby St. Louis. Lewis describes a health care worker putting a “long swab” up into his nose and sinuses.
Five days later, Lewis found out his test came back positive for covid-19. Lewis describes the virus as being “kind of like” the flu. “I had this non-stop cough. At first it was just a dry cough. It wasn’t productive, nothing coming out.” He said he had a “busting headache” that accompanied the coughing. Lewis said he was “achy” and had a “very low” fever. Other symptoms included “a little tightness in my chest” and “it felt like I had something in my lungs.”
Lewis says although he has a couple underlying conditions such as diabetes, he believes his body is fighting off the virus. “I’m getting stronger day by day.” Still, he experiences “waves” of headaches and coughing.
The virus is “kind of frightening,” Lewis admits. He says he understands the need to quarantine. “We’re trying to keep everybody from getting it too quickly and overwhelming our healthcare facilities,” he explained. Lewis maintains that “God’s in control…This little virus, God’s in control and he is sovereign and he is wise and he’s loving and he’s good and I can trust him.”
Lewis feels God’s presence with him. “Even when I’m sick he’s with me,” the pastor said. “The Bible says God is our refuge and strength and he’s a very present help in times of trouble. I know he’s with me and I know he’s with you.”
Lewis has pastored Bethel Church for 33 years. He and Cristie have four grown children, six grandchildren, and one more grandchild on the way.