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When crises arise, such as this season of illness, death, and uncertainty generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we all too easily succumb to fear. We let it take over our hearts, influence our decisions, and control our actions. We isolate ourselves for protection. We hoard emergency supplies.
But there is another way we can respond to this global crisis. There is an attitude of hope, truth, and light that our global team members are adopting, and it is an approach we want to share with you.
Use this crisis for Christ
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)
Our global team members have demonstrated their desire not to run from this pandemic but to embrace this unique opportunity to speak peace in the midst of fear, to show light in times of darkness.
“We believe that God has called us to serve and live in solidarity with the people of our city right now.” – Encompass Staff Member, Southeast Asia
Harnessing a crisis for Christ means moving beyond our own concerns and needs to those of the people we are called to serve. Opportunities to be the feet, hands, and voice of Jesus to people who need Him most are never greater than in times of dire need.
Be willing to give all for the Great Commission
“In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we affirm that God has called us to stay in our country to serve and share the gospel to the people of this nation with our lives and possibly through our deaths. Of our own volition, we have opted to stay despite being given the freedom and financing by Encompass World Partners leadership to abandon our post and return to the USA.” – Encompass Staff Member, Europe
Jesus gave all for us. As we are to imitate His love, He gave us these instructions: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13, ESV)
Following Jesus involves sacrifice. If we focus on giving our all for Him, we not only obey the Great Commission to take His Name to the nations, but we also reap the rest He gives to His followers.
Know the control of the hand of God
“I want to assure you, we are in a secure place—in the Hand of God.” – Encompass Staff Member, Central Africa
It isn’t easy to overcome our fear when illness and death press in all around us. But there is a great measure of peace in knowing that we are always under God’s protection. The plans He has for us are good and perfect, even if they don’t look smooth or easy to us right now.
No matter where we are in the midst of this pandemic—China, Italy, the U.S.—we must remember this. We are secure, we are loved, and we have a great hope. And by God’s power, we have the capacity to spread this hope and love to those around us.