Nations 3 2020 | Creative Compassion Throughout the COVID-19 Crisis
This year, the world has been in the grip of a global pandemic. Consequently, nations imposed strict lockdown conditions to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus. Naturally, this meant that our missionaries were unable to continue their face-to-face ministry as usual.
However, many of our missionaries and associated teams improvised with some creative compassion and virtual (on-line) ministry.
Every unprecedented crisis creates unprecedented opportunities.
Here is a snapshot of what some of our missionaries did throughout the lockdown.
World Outreach missionaries, Jan-Peter and Natasja Kelder, run a ministry called Siam Care. They learned that nurses in the local hospital didn’t have any protective gear against being infected with COVID-19 from patients. Because the virus usually enters people through their eyes, nose or mouth, the Siam Care team decided to make them face shields. “The staff were overcome with thankfulness!”
In their newsletter, the Kelders also wrote that:
‘The coronavirus is especially dangerous for people with underlying health issues. Most of Siam-Care’s families are suffering from HIV, TB, or other diseases. HIV-infected families have to regularly pick up their medication from the hospital. Usually this involved a long waiting time at the hospital, which could potentially be a dangerous place. Therefore, we have decided, together with the local hospital in Mukdahan, that our staff will pick up all the medications of our families, and deliver it to houses of our families, so they don’t have to sit in a waiting room with many strangers.’
“Beyond the wildest thoughts… every house church has multiplied by at least five times”
One of our field workers in India is cooking food in his office and, with permission from the local authorities, delivering that food to the doorstep of 316 poor families every day. These families have no capacity or resources to buy or source food. This is life-giving!
He also reported that:
‘COVID-19 has become a boon for the houses churches. It seems they have hit pay-dirt, as multiplication in the last two months has been beyond the wildest thoughts I’ve had. Every house church has multiplied by at least five times.’
Through donations provided by WO donors, another one of our contacts reached out to a community of 30 families who were poor, marginalised and suffering because of the strict lockdown. He reported that one resident named ‘Sunaj’ told him that she ran out of food on the third day of lockdown. She was desperate, then the worker arrived with the ‘relief kit’. With great thanks Sunaj said her ‘heart is filled with joy…what you have done for me, I will never forget.’
One of our missionaries in Indonesia wrote that: ‘…during one of the food parcel hand-outs, we had the opportunity to pray for a man whose shoulders were frozen. He was not able to lift his hands above his head. After praying for him, we all rejoiced as he lifted his hands up high.’
On another island, one of our missionaries is helping his community in Indonesia by giving vitamins, bread and cereal to people who have been quarantined. He rides to their fence on his motorbike and hands over a bag full of these essential items to families who otherwise would have no access to them.
Holy Spirit Revival
One of our church-planting missionaries wrote that:
‘We live-stream our Sunday services. After each meeting, people share and pray in small groups on Zoom or on-line. New people join each week and people have been giving their lives to Christ in homes. We have more ‘Following Jesus’ groups than ever. Our mums are being coached to disciple their children in their homes.
Family members that would not have ‘come to church’ are joining in and being touched by the Holy Spirit. For example, an 8-year-old was explaining Holy Communion to her father and uncle yesterday and they chose to participate! Distance is now irrelevant, so people join us from other parts of Japan and overseas. They are not watching a programme but worshiping together and becoming part of our ‘Be One’ family.
The power of prayer the Koti people group of Mozambique went into lockdown and subsequently experienced no community gatherings, no food supply, and no medical help. So, the team in Angoche went to the Lord in prayer, seeking him for wisdom.
Without fail, the Father gave them solutions. They were given a slot on the radio, six times a week, to continue teaching the Word of God… thousands of people tune in every day! Food has been stockpiled and distributed to the most vulnerable. Finally, they have created devotionals and medical videos in Portuguese for people to pass out from phone to phone to encourage and inform people.
Please keep the Koti people in your prayers. They have no ventilators, oxygen or test kits! God is their hope.
Sustenance to the poor
Through funds raised through WO’s COVID-19 appeal, one of our missionaries was able to deliver food packages to 45 families, which provided food for the families for a week. He continues to do this.
Please consider giving to the COVID-19 Assistance Appeal to help reach more people in need!
Our missionaries need funds to help people within the communities they are endeavouring to reach. These funds will be used to purchase food, medicines and other basic necessities to help people struggling to get by.