In the first few months of this new decade, attention has turned to the disease COVID-19. From Asia to Europe and North America, governments and individuals face a shared challenge impacting health, lifestyle, and economy. Global challenges present global opportunities.
For many, coronavirus stirs up fear as everyday routines, schooling, work, worship, special events, and travel are impacted. In the midst of this unprecedented time filled with unknowns, we know what stays the same.
What We Know in Uncertain Times
- Though mission trips are canceled, God is still working across the world.
- National believers are being used globally, even if North Americans can’t go.
- You and your church can get involved in missions even if you aren’t taking trips.
- Your church can adopt an unreached people group even if you can’t visit now.
- Technology still crosses borders we can’t physically cross.
- God hears our prayers and answers.
- Our Savior is the source of perfect peace.
- God often uses hardships to turn hearts to him.
- A global pandemic creates needs for nationals in need of prayer.
- God uses his people to point to peace where there is fear.
Instead of just hunkering down and hoping for the best, believers around the world see this as an opportunity. Even as China faced the first cases of COVID-19, Chinese believers led the way in demonstrating a commitment to encourage their brothers and sisters in Christ, to reach out to the needy in their communities, and to have a steadfast testimony of faith in a time of trial.
Fear of the unknown opens doors for faith. Live Global Executive Director Andrew reflects on 1 Timothy 4:7, saying:
“‘God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.’ As we live in a fearful time, believers have the opportunity to shine like stars in the night sky as we live out the power, love, and sound mind that God has given to us. May that be evident in our local communities, and in our global involvement.”
WORLD Magazine reports how one church in China provided supplies and food to a family under quarantine. When a woman visiting Wuhan, China fell sick and was dying, believers there led her to Christ. They filmed her memorial service for her family at home. The transcript of that service continues to reach people as it is viewed over and over, leading some to faith in Christ.
“Throughout scripture and history, the gospel has advanced in the face of opposition. May we seek global gospel opportunities in the midst of COVID-19, because we KNOW that we have a Sovereign God who is redeeming all things.”
Disease is not outside the scope of God’s redemption.
In the days of the Roman Empire people faced the plague. Roman Christians ran to the sick and dying, even as thousands of others ran away. Andrew encourages believers and their churches by saying, “Let us find new ways to be bold for the gospel.”
10 Ways to Live Global From Home
- Sponsor a global project and spend time in prayer for their needs.
- Write a message of encouragement to a believer in another country.
- Adopt an unreached people group and take time to learn about them.
- Use technology to connect with cross-cultural workers.
- Plan a Skype “party” with children of global ministry workers; play “I Spy.”
- Use the daily news to make a prayer list for places and peoples mentioned.
- Pray for the leaders and governments God has in place to coordinate resources.
- Use your communication opportunities to share verses of hope and trust.
- Watch social media of national believers and North American partners and help them feel connected and cared for by responding to them.
- Use a map to focus prayer for national believers and churches in the “hot spots.”
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Live Global’s blog March 12, 2020.