Prevailing over COVID-19 (July 2020)
Some people are frustrated or scared about COVID-19 and hope to get back to normal ASAP, while others are taking perverse advantage it for political purposes. The enemy is certainly at work. But quietly behind the scenes the Kingdom of God is accelerating on the earth.
We hear exciting news about the Gospel from those who see this season as a golden opportunity rather than a source of frustration or fear. For example, our nephew participated in a vacation Bible school in Peru via Zoom from Fresno, CA. Our colleague Tim Ahlen in Dallas reports he is training more church planters than ever, all over the world because of Zoom. We’ve been leading a weekly dialogue on Zoom among Black and White believers east to west coast about a Kingdom response to ethnic reconciliation. And we’ve been connecting with family and other churches in ways we never imagined before.
There are diaspora people groups here who don’t know many other believers from their homeland, but are connecting via Zoom for fellowship across America and the world. Cathy’s Community Bible Study had formed a waiting list because of physical space limitations, but now because of videoconferencing, everyone can join. One of our partners (scripturesinuse.org) is using Zoom to train people overseas to tell Bible stories to their illiterate neighbors. And just this month, we were able to present three workshops at the National African American Missions conference over Zoom, which reached over 1000 people in 47 nations, creating a reach far beyond the influence of an on-site conference that had been planned.
In the history of missions, acceleration points come through advancements in technology: when sailing ships emerged, missionaries boarded and spread the gospel to harbor cities. When trains and steamships were invented, missionaries took the Good News to inland villages. When air travel became affordable, they saturated the earth with Jesus’ message. Because of COVID-19, missions is no longer bound by physical presence. Discipleship and church planting can be accomplished by stepping boldly into what some call e-missions. Please pray for us to be agile enough to boldly seize opportunities even during this pandemic.
Certainly no one wants Covid to continue, but we’re excited how God is making Himself known worldwide through this crisis. The enemy is at work, but the Kingdom is unshakable. As His people, we are prevailing in spite of Covid-19.