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COVID-19: An August 2020 update from CMS International Director Peter Rodgers.

August 2020: CMS International Director Peter Rodgers gives another update about what Coronavirus means for the gospel work of CMS.

In Philippians 1:21 Paul writes from prison,

“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

These words are perhaps the clearest statement in the Bible of what it means to be a Christian.

Paul is convinced of the glory to come. His hopes are set on heaven, not on this world. Until the Lord calls him home, he has one goal, to reach the world with the only message of hope and salvation. His certainty drives him into mission.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic we need than same clarity of purpose. We live so that others might come to know Christ and grow in him. We live to see a world that knows Jesus.

Changing the way we do mission.

COVID-19 has changed the way we do mission. Time will tell which changes are temporary and which will become part of the landscape of mission into the future. But our commitments remain the same. We continue to recruit, train and send missionaries to cross cultures with the gospel.

We also rejoice that God’s word continues to go out and that people around the world are coming to faith and growing in their faith. You can read some stories from our missionaries, along with other responses , 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 also thank God for the courage and perseverance of the local believers we are in partnership with, who do not have the same options CMS missionaries have for dealing with immediate material and medical concerns. Please pray for local believers that God will strengthen and protect them and that the presence of our workers will be an encouragement for them to persevere.

Caring for CMS workers

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, due to come home for Home Assignment, are finding their flights cancelled with no option but to wait patiently for travel routes to open. Thankfully they can wait and continue their work knowing that God has all things under his loving control.

For our workers on location, we are committed to assisting them in managing their risks, particularly in places where there is limited health care. We are in regular contact with them and seeking to ensure that they have good strategies in place to manage their own safety and well-being. We are also continuing to provide pastoral care, particularly for those who have been living in self-isolation for an extended time.

We also praise God that despite the travel restrictions some of our missionaries have been able to return recently to location and resume their mission work. Others are praying that they can return soon.

Please pray that God will open doors for our missionaries. Although mission looks different for now, we continue as ever to live for Christ so that more and more people around the world will know his saving love and the wonderful hope of glory that is ours in him.

Peter Rodgers, CMS International Director.