Mission work in the time of COVID-19—what does it look like? It depends on your perspective. From our human perspective, things look pretty bleak right now. Canceled travel. Confinement at home. Isolation from friends. Depleting bank accounts. Anxiety. Feelings of helplessness. Temptations to despair. But in this month’s reports from our missionaries, I see a completely different picture emerging—God’s perspective.
Recently arrived in the Republic of Georgia, Otilia Stroia was feeling deeply isolated in the lockdown. Then God sent an oversized onion rolling off her balcony and set a new relationship in motion (p. 6).
In Albania, Brenda Mays has been reminded how many times she has witnessed God turn hard circumstances into healing and changed lives (p. 12).
Our furloughing missionaries and our missionaries preparing to launch have had their donor ministries suddenly upended. But they are seeing God bless in unexpected ways—in precious family time, in reconnecting with people through technology, in opportunities to study deeper in preparation for their mission ministry.
God is also surprising our missionaries in the field with new opportunities to reach out to hurting people in their communities (p. 16, 25, 38). And seeds are being planted in people’s hearts as they realize how much they benefited from our missionaries’ outreach now that some programs are temporarily closed (p. 31).
Reading our missionaries’ stories this month, I have enjoyed a fresh glimpse from God’s perspective as He continues to unfold His unchanging plan to rescue the unreached. The COVID-19 pandemic did not catch Him by surprise. As He recently reminded Leonda George (p. 19), He foresees (and sometimes foretells!) the path of every human life and ministry. And as he reminded Alexa Sharma, he answers prayer and provides for us before we even know what we need (p. 44).