When World Outreach missionaries move to another country or integrate themselves into a community to share the Gospel, they know the work can often look different and require a bit of creativity. During a global pandemic, when many countries are issuing stay-at-home orders, that need for ingenuity is heightened. We want to share the way three missionary units are working creatively to demonstrate and proclaim the love of Christ in these unique circumstances.
J & F
J and F live in one of the poorest states of a large country in South Asia. For a few months now, their country has been on a strict lockdown; this has made ministry very difficult as they are not allowed to leave their home. The impact on the virus has been felt by all, but most strongly by the poor. These underprivileged communities have struggled not only to feed and care for their families, but also to get home to their own villages after working in the city. J and F have a good friend who is part of one of these communities and knows the struggles these families are experiencing because of the virus and lockdown. Working together, J, F, and their good friend raised money and provided food for 50-60 of these families.
Ln & Ls
For Ln and Ls, COVID-19 has opened opportunities to minister and share God’s love through medical care, even though their middle eastern country instituted stay-at-home orders which initially seemed to end opportunities. Normally, they run a medical clinic which offers free care for refugees, but when refugees were no longer permitted to leave their homes, the clinic closed. As Ln and Ls prayed, God showed them a way they could continue to care for their refugee community and reach them with the Word. They set up a system to purchase needed medicines, and local Arab Christians (who have more liberty of movement) volunteered to deliver them to refugee homes following protocols to stop contagion. This system keeps refugees safe within their homes and provides these local believers with opportunities to share the Gospel when delivering medication. Ln told WO, “The Lord is reaching them, providing for their needs, all in the name of Jesus Christ.”
S & A
In the Detroit area, S and A live and minister to a community of over 100,000 Bangladeshi Muslims. Last summer, The World Outreach Summer Mission Jam brought high school students from several EPC churches to work under S and A’s direction and serve this Bangladeshi community. Last month, S informed World Outreach that the pandemic had brought about a severe need for food and face masks – especially for 300 families who had arrived in the States just prior to the pandemic. The EPC reacted quickly and sent emergency relief funds to S and A. At the same time, church sewing groups got to work making face masks. These donations allowed S and A to quickly organize food and mask distributions to the neediest families. When these Muslim families learned that the masks and food were from Christian churches (the same churches who had sent their kids to serve last year!) – there was a tremendous response of thankfulness. S says that many of his friends now have a whole new perspective on Christianity.
So as the country re-opens, let us celebrate that the Gospel was never bound by restrictions or social-distancing. In fact, even now, the Gospel breaks down barriers and moves beyond limitations, all to the Glory of God.
Summer Jam events in Hamtramck and Sacramento have been cancelled in light of COVID-19. While we cannot gather together this summer, we’re challenging our churches to reach out in their own neighborhoods – and we’d like to help you in this outreach. Read our flyer for more information.