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Missionary partnerships endure through the pandemic
February 2021

By Stacey Hohbein, Appointee Coach — So many people understandably feel like life has been “on pause” for the past year. At SEND International, we’ve certainly faced uncertainty and complexities, but we’ve seen God continue to move. In the past year, we’ve partnered with local churches to help quite a few families start the journey to international missions. Here’s what we’ve found:  

People and churches are still giving

Many of our future missionaries have maintained a nearly normal pace of raising support in the past year. Yes, when COVID first became worldwide news, there was a slowdown. (Maybe everyone was out looking for toilet paper and disinfecting wipes?) But since then, praise God, support for future missionaries is flowing in like it does during non-pandemic times. Uncertainty has not made God’s people any less generous! 

People want to hear about God's work  
We generally encourage future missionaries to meet in person with their potential partners, but that wasn’t always the right choice during COVID. Potential partners and mission committees encouraged us by quickly adapting to nontraditional connection methods, like Zoom calls.
 
New ways to connect emerged
Virtual Bible studies and church services made it easier for future missionaries to connect more broadly with the Body of Christ. Some of these virtual connections led to personal relationships that probably wouldn’t have developed without the pandemic.

God is always at work in us
God is teaching lessons crucial to thriving as a missionary through this pandemic. Perseverance? Check! Flexibility? Absolutely! The uncertainty of COVID has helped many future missionaries wrestle through how to balance the need to act boldly while also trusting in God's provision. They’ve learned, as Galatians 6:9 teaches, not to grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time, they will reap a harvest if they do not give up!

Banner photo: The Bonkoski family moved to Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic.  



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