Because of recent complications with the Coronavirus, and the reaction to it, we’ve recently had to bring home all of our World Race, World Race: Gap Year, and Semesters participants. This has been a really difficult and disappointing decision for a lot of you, and frankly for us as well. We know for many of you the Race was an answer to prayer, and the answer to a call the Lord put on your heart. We know you made sacrifices to be on the field and though the Race wasn’t always easy, it was your community and your home and you wanted to finish it.
Your disappointment makes perfect sense. You might feel lost or devastated or just plain angry. While these emotions are understandable, we want to invite you to see the fresh perspective that God could use this all for something huge and He could use you to do it.
We have the opportunity to change our perspective. We have 500 passionate missionaries sitting at home right now. You’re coming from 16 different countries to cities and states all over the US, as well as a few other countries. You’ve been running your Race at full speed, and are now running up to what you think is a wall. It’s not. It’s a speed bump. And on the other side of the speed bump is a big ol’ straightaway. It may seem like it’s time to pump the brakes. It’s not. It’s time to hit the gas and see how fast this thing can go.
This is a massive opportunity to advance God’s kingdom. In times like these, people are looking for a reason to hope. They’re looking for a light at the end of the tunnel. They’re looking for something that will put strength in their bones and get them to tomorrow. This all means that you can continue your ministry here at home, by being the hands and feet of Jesus in your hometown and community
Social distancing is important right now, but you can get creative and still bring the Hope of Jesus and make a tangible difference in your community.
Here are 7 practical way to live on mission during COVID-19
- Connect with your closest missional community.
Our community has so many cool options! We’ve got missional communities, landing zones, and alumni groups all over the states. Wherever you are there are World Race people you can connect with to keep the mission going. We’ve made a handy little map showing you where those people are, which you can find by clicking right here.
This is a great time to get connected with Kingdom people around you online and make plans to do ministry and love on people in your community in safe and creative ways from a distance or virtually. Let’s come together and see what we can do to make a difference in our communities.
- Partner with local ministries.
Find a ministry near you that is doing work you believe in! There are plenty of ministries out there that are still trying to help people through this crisis. Talk to churches, YWAM bases, homeless shelters (more on that later), food banks, etc. and see how you can help from where you are. Most ministries and organizations are following CDC guidelines for safety and distancing pretty closely, so they should have good ideas about the best ways you can partner with them. Let’s team up with whoever is doing Kingdom work out there, and bring hope and peace to a hurting world.
This one’s for all the Levites out there. When the kingdom of Israel went to war in the Old Testament, the Levites would lead the way, walking in front of the armies singing the Lord’s praises. So if you can, grab your guitar or whatever your instrument is, and give God some praise!Livestream your time of worship on social media, or just make a little video. Depending on the current regulations where you are, you could even go downtown, to a park, or anywhere else you can think of, and give God praise. No agenda. No need for a crowd. No ulterior motives. Just worship our God like the Levites did because, “His steadfast love endures forever.” (2 Chronicles 20:20-21)In this time of crisis and fear, we have an opportunity for great faith and sharing with others the “peace that transcends understanding.” Check into the CDC and WHO protocols for your area, and wherever you can safely worship and share the Gospel in your community, go do so.
- Help or donate to organizations that are helping.
There are several organizations that are working hard to assist the elderly and immunocompromised in our communities. Talk to your home church about what they’re doing in your community, and how to get involved in any way you can. Call them up and see if you can volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, see where you can send your money to help them keep going. Donate time. Donate blood. Donate money. Whatever it takes to help out. Here are some organizations we’ve found that are doing some good and/or can help get you started:
- Check on your neighbors
This is a very good way to make an immediate difference in your immediate surroundings. There are people all around you that are at risk and need help. It’s not crazy to go door to door asking your neighbors how you can help, just make sure you find ways to safely help them. Get them groceries. Mow their lawn. Take out their trash. Bring them their mail. Any simple thing that doesn’t expose them unnecessarily!Many states have a Department of Aging that will have good information on how to get involved in helping the elderly in your community.
- Help your local schools, churches, and families.
If you know a teacher in your community, talk to them about how to help out. There are school systems out there driving meals to kids who rely on school lunches for food. Schools are doing a lot of good for our communities in this time, and you could be a part of helping them do that.Like we said before, get in touch with your local churches, and see what they’re doing to help! Many churches have been identifying those in their congregation that are at risk and making plans to take care of those people in the best way possible. So call up your home/local church and see how you can help them take care of the people who need the most help in your congregation.Check in with families in your area to assist and accommodate as they may be seeking out childcare arrangements. Many schools across the nation are closing their buildings to conduct school from home in the meantime.
- Help the homeless
The homeless population here in America are among the most vulnerable people when it comes to this pandemic. These people are living in extreme exposure, and don’t have as much access to healthcare as they probably need. There’s a lot of talk about hygiene and hand washing going around. Though it seems like a small feat for most of us, maintaining hygiene in that way is very difficult for someone living on the streets. Find homeless shelters in your community, and ask how they can put you to work. Buy some food and hand it out to the homeless in your city, or set up a small “take what you need” station. Any help you can give to the homeless will be massively beneficial to making sure they make it through this thing.
Whatever you choose to do, get to work. Be safe, but go do the thing! This isn’t time to pull over on the side of the road. It’s time to hit the accelerator.
What ideas do you have to live on mission during COVID-19? Join our new Hope Rising Facebook group to share creative ideas and encouraging words with other Christ followers also seeking to spread hope in their community.
We’ll leave you with this quote from Martin Luther, which is particularly relevant right now.
“Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent [a pestilence]… I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall… administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others… If people in a city were to show themselves bold in faith when a neighbor’s need so demands, and cautious when no emergency exists, and if everyone would help ward off contagion as best he can, then the death toll would indeed be moderate. But if some are too panicky and desert their neighbors in their plight, and if some are so foolish as to not take precautions but aggravate the contagion, then the devil has a heyday and many will die.”
—Martin Luther on “Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague”(c.1527)”