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The COVID-19 crisis poses significant challenges that have complex implications on our global team. Read our responses to these frequently asked questions to learn how Encompass World Partners is caring for our members during this time.
1.How does COVID-19 affect Encompass global staff?
Our global team members are dealing with this situation the same way the rest of the world is: by submitting to their governing authorities’ travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders. At the same time, they are seeking ways to continue their work. Getting creative with technology in ministry, making masks, and delivering food are just a few ways our global staff have maintained safe involvement in the lives of their communities.
2.Are global staff being stranded on the field due to the State Department’s recommendation that U.S. travelers abroad return home?
Since our global staff members are U.S. citizens, they aren’t under the same restrictions as someone traveling to the United States as a tourist, for example. Instead, they are under the protection of the U.S. Embassy in their country, and the Embassy has the ability to charter flights to and from the country as needed. However, our staff are showing caution when it comes to travel-related decisions, and per the recommendations, are keeping to essential travel only.
3.Are Encompass global staff returning home from the field?
The decision to leave or remain is up to our global staff members individually, along with consultation from their network leaders and our Member Care Team. Depending on their desires, the safety of their region, recommendations from these advisors, and guidance from their U.S. Embassy, we have helped our global staff members reach informed decisions about whether to travel or stay where they are. Some of our staff have been advised to leave their countries and have acted on that advice, while most have opted to remain. In either case, we are maintaining consistent communication with them, continuing to support them with all of the services they expect from us, and working with them on a plan to return to ministry as soon as it is possible.
4.How is COVID-19 impacting Encompass World Partners’ home office and its services to global staff?
Our Mobilization Services team is now working remotely to provide all customary services to our global staff members. Although social events and activities have been canceled or postponed indefinitely, normal operations continue as the team offers financial support, communication, mobilization services, and other assistance to our global staff.
5.Are there any financial implications to global staff serving in COVID-19-affected areas?
The Mobilization Services Team is still processing checks and financial gifts, so our global staff continue to receive financial support. With that said, two potential areas that may be impacted in the near future are decreased contributions from supporters and an increase in unexpected expenses, such as sudden travel or medical costs.
6.Is Encompass still sending global staff to the field?
Encompass continues to mobilize and prepare workers. Although the trips themselves may be delayed, the preparation work is proceeding as we anticipate the eventual lifting of travel restrictions and social distancing.
7.How can I help?
Please continue to support our global staff with your financial gifts. If you do not normally contribute financially, you can begin here. If you do give regularly and would like to contribute additional amounts to crisis funds related to COVID-19, you can do so here. You can also reach out to our global staff and let them know you are thinking of them and praying for them. They relish your support as you listen and empathize with them.