COVID-19 has created a different world for everyone, but social distancing, worry and uncertainty are even harder when living and working overseas.
Southeast supports 100 missionaries around the world.
In the last 60 days, flights have been canceled and many countries closed. Some missionaries have left the field to protect their families. Most have chosen to stay.
Getting safe food and products to disinfect hands and surfaces can be an issue. Social distancing means finding creative ways to encourage seekers and new believers still learning about faith.
Southeast Christian Church members Dan and Robin Been live in Portugal. They’ve been through evacuation plans due to political upheaval and danger while serving in other countries. They lived through a coup, severe illness with two sons and armed conflict between two political parties. They have been trapped because of poor infrastructure, have worked with starving people and have lived in a home targeted by 15 armed men.
“We don’t want to ‘run’ to America just because we are in a difficult situation,” Dan said. “We are here to be with the people we are reaching. I believe we are here to help people see hope, to see that there is a firm foundation on which to build their lives. Everyone is dealing with the collapse of systems they trusted and freedom of movement they relied on. We have the privilege of talking about the One Hope who has brought us personally through many issues.”
Partners in Greece, who chose to remain anonymous, knew long before the COVID-19 lockdown that they could not leave the country.
“This gives us a better picture of how our asylum-seeking friends always feel, for our hearts to continue to understand their situations,” they said.
Eric and Rachel Rolston were on furlough from Tanzania for the birth of their baby when COVID-19 hit.
“It was weird to hear about the sudden mass exodus of global workers who left our city due to the virus,” Eric said. “Many won’t be able to return because of visa issues. There are only a handful of families left now, including one of our teammates. “
Terry Jackson, Southeast Missionary Care team leader, keeps in touch with partners around the world.
“We have heard from our workers in Southeast Asia that 28 Christian leaders have died from COVID-19,” he said. “Police there seem to think that foreigners are the main source for the spread of the virus, which is a bit scary for those who remain.”
Here is how you can pray for missionaries serving around the world:
>Pray for health and wisdom.
>Pray that new believers will see God through this crisis.
>Pray that global workers will be able to secure resources such as food, medicine and safe water.
>Pray that God will fill lonely hours in quarantine with His presence and grace.
>Pray for strength to walk through the challenges of COVID-19.
>Pray that global workers will represent the hope of Jesus.