ABWE’s COVID-19 Response

MARCH 11, 2020

ABWE cares deeply about the health of our missionaries and staff and is carefully monitoring the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Over the past two months, we have been in communication with ABWE leaders and our missionaries on the field worldwide who have been directly impacted by the crisis. They have received guidelines from the World Health Organization and US Center for Disease Control for a rational response to this encroaching virus, and the situation continues to be monitored by our Medical Director for International Missionary Healthcare, Miriam Wheeler, MD.

Based on U.S. State Department recommendations, ABWE has evacuated a few team members, but the majority of teammates remain in their respective ministry locations.

At this time, there are no known cases of coronavirus among the missionary family; however, several teammates are located in heavily impacted areas of the world and have been limited in their ability to carry out their ministries.

Additionally, ABWE leadership met this week to review the organization’s evacuation and emergency preparedness policies and procedures. Ongoing evaluations will occur for how to advise missionaries and staff on future events and travel. A special task force was assigned to look specifically at how these policies may need to be adjusted in light of coronavirus.

Leadership is also evaluating the implications that coronavirus may have on short-term trips, events, and operations in the International Headquarters.

Staff members have been assigned specifically to examine the policies and response plan for the mission headquarters, should the virus be found in the Harrisburg-area, so that we can maintain core services and support for our missionaries while protecting our staff.

Missionaries serving in the current hot zone of Italy have received guidelines from our leadership team, with special emphasis on those who are at high risk for severe illness. Because of the excellent healthcare there, we have not recommended moving our team out of Italy.

While we are working to be prepared, we also want to maintain a healthy perspective, respond logically with the best medical information available, and above all, please our great God.

Join us in praying that:

  • God will use this crisis to soften hearts to his gospel
  • Missionaries will have unusual opportunities to share the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7)
  • We would have wisdom for each situation as it unfolds and not over or under-react

If you’d like more information and future updates on COVID-19’s impact on ABWE ministries and missionaries, visit our website: www.abwe.org/coronavirus.

You can also listen to a special edition of the Missions Podcast on how coronavirus impacts missions with Dr. Wheeler.

Thank you, friends, for your support of ABWE missionaries in prayer and finances! Missionaries could not follow the Great Commission without your partnership. Please uphold them, as well as our ABWE administration, in prayer as we care for your missionaries.

Serving the Lord of The Harvest together,

Paul Davis | ABWE President