The whole world is reeling with the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. It has impacted every part of our world, our lives, and our conversations.
I was asked how the current global environment has impacted missionaries and how pastors and churches can pray/help them specifically. Here are some thoughts I have and hopefully others will share their insights in the comment section.
- Missionaries on deputation and furlough have had meetings cancelled due to churches suspending services. This will delay their support raising and very likely their departure dates. Pray for wisdom for missionaries as they reschedule meetings and departure dates. Pray that this will be a fruitful time of study, rest, and preparation for future ministry.
- Missionaries on fields where their visas require them to routinely leave the country and come back (e.g. 90 days, etc.) may not be able to get back into the country where they are ministering. Pray for wisdom for missionaries to know whether to come home before indefinite travel bans are imposed or whether to stay and risk not being able to leave their country for a long period of time. Pray for those who are required to leave for visa purposes to be able to return back into their countries.
- Like churches in America, any ministry plans missionaries may have made for things like Easter are now impacted.
- Missionaries work on a ministry time-schedule for learning the language, starting a church, and getting pastors trained. Delays in being able to meet and hold services will likely push back some of those plans.
- Pray for wisdom to know what to do regarding future ministry plans.
- Pray for opportunities to share the gospel creatively and for young believers to grow through this time of change and adversity.
- In some countries, the missionaries may find that the exchange rate has changed in their favour. In other countries, they may face financial hardship as markets and economies fluctuate. Pray for God to provide for missionaries who are on the field and may face unexpected financial needs.
- Missionaries who are just starting out on deputation may face financial hardship as they are quite reliant on love offerings and honorariums to pay their bills. Churches who have to cancel meetings can help by sending an offering to the missionary if they are financially able to do so. Pray for God to provide for missionaries who are on deputation and have had their meetings cancelled.