COVID-19 makes missions even more crucial. Here’s why.
April 2020
By Rachel Pauwels, SEND missions coach — Uncertain times can be some of the most fruitful for the gospel. The COVID-19 virus causes people to grapple with fear and uncertainty. People are thinking and talking about death. Many also are more open to thinking and talking about the gospel. 
Though we, as believers, have faith in Christ to ground us, many of us also have reason to re-think our “normal” lives. The coronavirus has stripped away the perceived stability of our jobs, our churches, and our friend groups. 
Many believers are spending more time re-prioritizing the Lord, as we now realize that he is the only constant in our lives. This is an excellent time to really dig in, to ask him if he might be calling us to something different in the future. 
The rising death toll from COVID-19 spotlights the fact that billions of people around the globe stand in danger of dying without having a chance to hear the gospel. When we consider their souls, our everyday cares and concerns don't seem so important. Our shattered routines give us opportunities to look outside of ourselves.
We have a powerful message to share, a message that the world needs—today, in this time of crisis, but also in the future, when COVID fears fade. 
“On a recent mission trip to South Asia, I was reminded of two key concepts that unbelievers cannot obtain apart from Jesus: peace and hope,” says SEND missions coach Andy Gilbert. “We have the joy of sharing in such a time as this, knowing that the gift of Jesus carries with it the peace and hope that never fails.”  
How to pursue missions in this time
1) Pray! This seems like the easy, "Sunday school answer," but it is so important. We can be in prayer for missionaries that we know, many whom face difficult decisions during this time. Their normal ministries have been disrupted, so we can pray for them to find new, creative ways to reach people. Pray that the Lord uses this devastating time to bring many to the knowledge of him!
2) Visit and do some research on one of the thousands of unreached people groups that still do not have access to the gospel. Choose a group or two, and begin praying for them on a daily basis. Ask the Lord to give you a burden for the lost.
3) Give if you are able. Many missionaries may be losing the financial support of donors and churches as the coronavirus impacts people financially. Reach out to a missionary friend, or find one online, and give a little extra this month. SEND has set up a crisis fund to help us respond to COVID-19.
4) Connect with unbelievers whom you know. Use social media and technology during this time to have intentional gospel conversations. Share the peace and hope of Jesus.  
5) Reach out to a missions coachYou don't have to be 100% certain that the Lord is calling you into missions. Personally, one of my favorite parts of this job is talking and praying with people who are considering if missions is for them. We're always happy to simply talk with you, help you process what missions might look like for you, and pray with you.

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• This article was originally published in On Mission, our free monthly newsletter full of inspiration, ideas, and encouragement for people interested in becoming cross-cultural missionaries. Click here to get On Mission for free every month! 


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Rachel Pauwels
Rachel serves as a missions coach, working with SEND to mobilize God's church to the unreached. She walks alongside potential missionaries, helping them to prayerfully determine how God is calling them to be a part of the Great Commission.