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COVID-19 Update from CMS Australia

In Colossians 4:3 Paul writes from prison,

“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ for which I am in chains.”

Please pray that prayer for our missionaries as they share Jesus with people during the coronavirus pandemic. Even as the world closes its borders, God’s mission is not locked down, or restricted. God is opening doors. By necessity the ways our missionaries do mission has changed but we rejoice in hearing many stories from all around the world of people who have come to know Jesus. We are thankful for the creative ways they have found to share the good news of Jesus. We are committed as ever to see a world that knows Jesus.

You can read some stories from our missionaries here of ways that God has used our missionaries for his glory. Please pray that under these trying circumstances they will continue to preach the gospel, love their neighbours and be a witness to the goodness of God. When much of the world is gripped in fear, we have the opportunity to be a witness to the hope and confidence we have in Christ and our God who drives out all fear.

We praise God that the spread of the virus has been restricted in Australia and that social distancing rules are slowly being wound back. That is also true for some of our missionaries, particularly those living in Europe. However, in many places where we serve the number of new cases continues to rise and the future is more uncertain. In such places lockdown measures are likely to be in place longer and there is a greater risk of social unrest.

We are working at managing the risk to our missionaries, particularly in places where there is limited health care. We are in regular contact with them and ensuring that they have good strategies in place to manage their own safety and well-being. We are also committed to providing pastoral care, particularly for those who have been living for extended time in self isolation.

The vast majority of our missionaries have remained on location, following the directions issued by the government authorities in those places. Some have reluctantly taken the opportunity to return to Australia because of particular medical and family concerns. Others have opted to bring forward their home assignment, aware that travel restrictions may have prevented them returning when they had planned.

Most of missionaries currently on Home Assignment will remain in Australia for the foreseeable future. Of course, Home Assignment will look very different for them as churches operate on-line.

Please pray that God will open doors for our missionaries. Whilst mission will look different for a while, together we continue to work towards the same goal to share Christ with this around the world, so that name of Christ will be exalted.