FERGUS FALLS --Elizabeth native and retired minister Ken Kothe offers some encouragement, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, to residents of Otter Tail County.

Kothe is a 1963 graduate of Fergus Falls High School, Army veteran and graduate of what was formerly Moorhead State College (now MSUM). He lives with his wife, Katherine, in St. Michael, southeast of St. Cloud.

“During this difficult time, it’s hard to be joyous. But we can,” says Kothe, the father of four whose father also was a minister. “The beauty of God’s creation and his people remain constant and beautiful.”

Kothe urges county residents to stay connected, in reference to scripture from Hebrews 10:24, 25.

“While we are called to be home, we don’t need to be isolated,” he said. “Pick up a phone and call someone such as a family member, friend, your neighbor or a church member. Use this as a time to reach out and touch those you may have been too busy to connect with previously.”

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He says people need to stay active, reflecting on the words from Ephesians 2:8-10.

“This is a great time, while you are home, to unplug from TV and social media. Spend time talking, praying, playing board games, doing activities and projects with your loved ones and taking time for devotionals. Take a short walk outdoors, if you are able to do so.”

Kothe says that county residents can also find some inner peace by tuning into Christian radio stations. “The music and messages are positive and encouraging,” he says.

In closing, he asks that county residents keep local, state and national leaders in their prayers. This also holds true, he says, for health care providers and first responders all across the country.

“The actions they take have and will have major impacts on many lives. They need the wisdom, courage and guidance that only God can give. They need our prayers.”