The Chinese word for ‘Crisis’, 危机 (pronounced: Way-Gee), is a combination of the two words. Danger (危) and opportunity (机). This is a powerful reminder. Yes, the crisis includes danger. I do not need to remind anyone of this truth because that is what we normally meditate on. But, what mankind tends to ignore is the fact that this new viral crisis also brings opportunity. For Christians, God is using the body of Christ globally to reach and touch lives because a crisis has a way to make hearts sensitive to spiritual and eternal matters like no other situation does. In this scenario, it’s a global crisis.
We all know that a plethora of ministry transpires all the time, all over the world. Yet, there is nothing like a crisis to get the body of Christ mobilized on the scale I have seen with COVID-19. Yes, this pandemic has caused some ministry efforts to pause but the pause is only temporary for most. But despite the pause for some, other ministry efforts are ramping up.
My pastor taught on Daniel 3 two weeks ago where we learn about the events of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. For those of us who have been Christians for some time now, this is a familiar story.
You probably learned, as I did, that these three men were steadfast and faithful to God despite opposition. We learned the result of their faithfulness landed them the death sentence by fire. Once inside the furnace, a fourth man showed up described as a ‘son of the gods’. Yet instead of death, the men lived without even the smell of smoke and fire on their clothes. This led the King to decree that all should worship the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
There is more surrounding this event but that’s pretty much the gist of the story. But, my pastor pointed out a key component of the text that I previously never noticed.
Everyone rushes to the store and suddenly no toilet paper or paper towels is available. Sound familiar?
Now imagine many needing ventilators at hospitals due of COVID-19 but there isn't enough to go around. This is a possibility and the problem, even if those needing ventilators is a very small percentage of those infected by the virus.
This is not the flu that can be prevented with vaccine or treated with antiviral drugs (yet), it's not a Democrat hoax trying to overthrow POTUS or the Chinese trying to destroy America. This is a global pandemic that affects (has affected) Republicans, Democrats, Chinese, Iranians and every person and nearly every country/political party on earth.
COVID-19, recent riots in Delhi, the global refugee crisis, war, famine and the list goes on. There are many crises in this world. Every year and decade, crises evolve and change. Some go away, new ones arrive on the scene and certain ones capture our attention more than others. No matter how severe a crisis is, I believe there is no crisis greater than having no Gospel access.
2.1 billion people are Gospel Deprived. This means they have no access to the Gospel. They have no opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel, not even one time. While the spiritual lost in America’s Bible Belt are equally lost and need to hear the Gospel over and over, they are different. They are different because they have Gospel access. The 2.1 billion spiritual lost souls I’m referring to do not.
This. Is. A. Crisis!
I keep hearing people say, "Have Perspective" regarding COVID-19. Every time I hear it, it's usually someone who seems to be down playing the reality of the virus so to take their advice, let's have perspective.
China shut off an entire city of 10+ million people over a few thousand "official" cases. As the cases grew, nearly the entire country was quarantined . Really? I was in China during SARS and H1N1. None of that happened over a few thousand confirmed cases of those new viruses. Think about that for a moment. That doesn't even sound logical unless the official figures were far worse than being reported, which is highly probable. Most experts believe it is much higher larger due to the unreported infections and even deaths.
World Health Organization (WHO) states COVID-19 has a higher mortality rate than the season flu - 3.4% vs 0.1% for seasonal flu. That makes COVID-19 more than 30xs deadlier than the season flu, if accurate.
Steve Schirmer, President of Silk Road Catalyst and co-Host of Missions Talk. Least Reached Advocate. Dedicated to No Place Left.