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.
A brother I know in South Carolina, a friend in a nearby state and Silk Road Catalyst, separately sent aid packages to China during their time of need. I know many others (non-believers as well) did the same around the world but these are the ones I’m familiar with.
A church in China sent 500 masks to a partnering church in North Carolina this month. The donation will be used to protect the elderly in the NC congregation as well as to aid a local hospital.
Another church in China sent 1400 masks to South Asia to assist SRC ministries in that region as they seek to serve those around them. Granted, everyone in South Asia is under a lockdown but once the lockdown is lifted, present needs for protective supplies will remain the same and masks will be distributed.
A sister in Asia whoI met in 2001, and whom I have not seen in at least 15 years, personally donated 200 N95 masks to Silk Road Catalyst so we could get them into the hands of medical professionals in Bolivia, which will be distributed through a national-global missions leader in that country.
A sister in India has discovered a path to obtain hand sanitizers for Indians. It’s not a donation but simply a pathway. These products are nearly impossible to find across India. I’m in regular communication with people who want to figure out how to make a bulk order, which does require a minimum purchase of 5,000. If purchased, we’ll be able to distribute free of charge to those who cannot afford them, which includes one particular orphanage my church is intimately connected to.
Many medical professionals in China have come to faith as a result of walking through this pandemic. Churches across the US are stepping up to ensure those who need food have it. I have seen messages from countless churches offering their elderly members help with shopping and obtaining medications so they do not have to leave their home and put themselves at unnecessary risk.
These are just a few of the amazing stories of how God us moving His Church globally to respond. I know it can feel as if God is absent during times like this but rest assured He is not.
God is not ignoring the world nor did this take Him by surprise. Like many others, I pray that God will remove this virus but He has not done that yet. And as I pray this, I’m reminded of events in my personal life back in 2006. If you’d like to read about it, click here. We may feel God is slow but his timing is not ours.
Until God answers our prayers to end this crisis and our new normal transpires, let’s also pray that God will guide us in the mean time to leverage this period to spread His glory, His fame and His Gospel message to all peoples in all places.
Steve Schirmer, President of Silk Road Catalyst and co-Host of Missions Talk. Least Reached Advocate. Dedicated to No Place Left.