With some creativity, missionaries still share good news, despite COVID-19 restrictions
April 2020

People’s ingenuity has been on full display as the world responds to COVID-19. Missionaries throughout SEND—just like believers everywhere—have quickly and cleverly adapted, finding new ways to connect during this time of crisis.  

Faith via Facebook in Japan 

"We’ve been praying for a couple who are friends of ours for a long time now, but meeting with them has become impossible due to COVID-19 restrictions. Still, my wife was able to mail a gospel tract that clearly communicated the plan of salvation — and that was just what our friend needed to make a clear confession of faith! About a week later, I checked in with her husband by Facebook Messenger and asked him if he would be interested in doing a Bible study online together. His wife joined as well and this time, he too made a clear profession of faith. We are thanking God for his work in their lives! We hope that we can continue to meet with them in the coming months, if not in person, then virtually." — by SEND teammates in Tokyo 


And speaking of Facebook …

J.B. finds herself on home service back in the States after more than 30 years of ministry in Southeast Asia. Of course, shelter-in-place restrictions make meeting face-to-face with churches and supporters impossible, but she says, “God led me to set up an evangelistic Facebook page called ‘The Faith of Abraham.’ I am not trying to accumulate ‘likes,’ I am trying to use my time wisely.” If you think anyone you know would benefit from this page, feel free to share it! Pray that God would use it to draw people to himself.


Hungry to connect in Spain 

Spain has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19, with more than 15,200 deaths so far. The country is on extreme lockdown—even strolls around the neighborhood are not allowed, and authorities roam the streets enforcing the restrictions. Our team there, like so much of the world, has turned to Zoom to connect. 

Jaime Clore recently held his first virtual English conversation group. “I was surprised at how well it went and also by the great turnout,” he said. “In these trying times, the Spanish people seem hungry for human interactions. Please continue praying for the Lord to help us build bridges to share the gospel. It is my hope and prayer that the English group participants will bring up conversations and feel confident to ask questions about Christ and the Bible.”


Feeding the needy in Europe

Throughout the world, many families are struggling financially. In a Muslim community where our team serves in Europe, most people are not able to work and don’t have unemployment benefits. Our worker there says, “Along with another church in our city, we will start delivering food boxes and Bible literature to needy families. We have planted extra gardens both in the city and up at camp. We have always shared produce but this year might meet great needs. Ask God for open hearts as we serve him by sharing physical and spiritual food.”


Technological limits can’t constrain the gospel in Alaska 

As churches and individuals quickly learn how to use virtual tools like Facebook Live, YouTube, and Zoom, in parts of Alaska and the Yukon Territory, technology has limitations. Many villages have poor internet; many people do not have internet in their homes at all. Our teams must use creativity to reach out while maintaining social distancing. 

One missionary is broadcasting short sermon messages over VHF radio for the village to listen to—and then posting the sermons on Facebook for those who can access the internet. “The positive side of the radio is that I know a few that listened who do not attend the Sunday service,” this village missionary said. “I plan to do another for Good Friday, and then Easter Sunday.” People who would never enter the doors of a church, even on Easter, are listening to the gospel being broadcast and connecting to it. God be praised!

Another missionary has started posting biblically themed art in his window for people to notice as they walk by. 

And there’s always the phone! One family who lives in a remote village says, “Our friend here offered us the opportunity to go with him and his family ‘off the grid’ miles downriver. They will be staying at a cabin until there is a cure for the coronavirus. We graciously declined. This reaction seems to be prevalent here in the village. Many are living in fear of this virus. While we haven’t been able to communicate in person with people, we have calls all throughout the day of those seeking comfort in their fear. Please pray we will speak the truth boldly, with love, and that those who call will be softened to the gospel. Pray our family will also know whom to encourage with a phone call.” 


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