I was reminded of what biblical hope is and thought of Paul’s words in Romans, “Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Rom. 8:24-25). The hope of the world is like a wish or desire. However, the hope of the believer in Christ is a confident one that looks beyond today’s news to our risen Lord, and the new heaven and new earth He is preparing for us in the future. We have a hope beyond the corona virus or anything else that should be a cause for anxiety and fear of the masses.
Let me give you an update on what is happening with Great Awakenings during the pandemic. Our ministry, just like government, businesses, families, local churches and other Christian ministries, is being impacted.
Our trip to Kenya (April 17-28) has been postponed. At this point, no new date has been set. Pastor George Muguro and I decided to wait and see how the impact of the corona virus plays out. One possibility for rescheduling is August, another is December, or waiting until sometime in 2021.
I was going to be teaching at the Manna Bible Institute (MBI) and School of Missions in Ongata Rongai, which is less then 15 miles south of Nairobi. MBI has been shut down, along with all other schools and universities in Kenya. Additionally, the city of Rongai is where the first cases of the virus were confirmed. And like the United States, churches throughout Kenya are also cancelling services and going online.
Besides Kenya, there was also a trip to Mexico (May 30-June 6) that was cancelled this week. The cancellation came after heavy travel restrictions were put in place between the United States and Mexico. It was still in the planning stages, but was postponed until 2021.
This month we were preparing to begin our 2020 season of Igniting The Rural Church program, when our first church cancelled. We may experience more cancellations in the coming weeks. Additionally, we have suspended scheduling anymore programs in 2020 until churches have a better idea of what their future looks like.
Since the fall of 2018, I have been part of the Manhattan Christian College (MCC) pulpit supply program, preaching in area small and rural churches. On March 14, I filled the pulpit at the Florence Christian Church in Florence, Kansas. I preached on the fear and anxiety produced as a result of the pandemic. The following week MCC announced the cancellation of their pulpit supply program through April. Many participating churches have suspended weekly services.
Our Administrative Assistant, Tonia Hedman, has three children in high school and junior high. Recently when the state of Kansas decided to shut down schools, we had to adapt like many other organizations, so she is working from home as much as possible in order to help homeschool her kids for the rest of the semester.
My wife, Kathe, works four days a week at a part-time job. The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the business she works for, where all employees have been laid off.
WHERE ARE WE HEADED
Like government, businesses and families; churches and Christian ministries are all in a state of change. We are no different. Presently, I am still preparing for my Kenya trip and for future Igniting The Rural Church programs. I am also seeking the Lord daily about how He would have us minister the gospel to people in such a time as this.
If you are able, prayerfully consider a donation of any size during this difficult time in our world in order to continue the work of going and proclaiming Christ to people in rural communities. Click on the donate button at the top of the page.
If your church, business or family is going through a difficult time, please email us through the website and we will seek the Lord God on your behalf.
Slave of Christ,
President and Evangelist