07 April 2020

COVID-19 around the globe

The Director of Global Relationships, the Revd Conrad Hicks reflects on how Covid-19 is having an impact on colleagues and communities around the globe.

A Partnership Coordinator is visiting a region with very few recorded cases of the Coronavirus. Do we keep them there, based far from home, so that they can visit more partners? Or do we arrange an emergency flight home to a country where the recorded levels of infection are much more serious?

A Mission Partner is weeks away from retirement and final furlough, but flights are being cancelled and borders closed. Do we pull them out immediately, leaving little time for packing or goodbyes?

These are some of the decisions facing the Global Relationships team at this time of international upheaval as governments strive to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Mission Partners in Europe are facing travel restrictions, seeing work cancelled and churches closed. The Global Relationships team have been working within the constraints of the work-at-home policy that has affected the Connexional Team.  We have staff meetings online; we have had a coffee break together on Skype; we will pray together via Skype; I will call in on each member of the team on any day when we are not meeting. We need to be mindful of each other’s wellbeing as we are staying at home.

So this is a strange time of sudden, unexpected movement and of staying put. In the wilderness years, God’s people were guided by God in the cloudy, fiery pillar. They moved when God moved; they stayed still when God did. In movement and staying still, God was with them. When God spoke with Moses face to face, the cloudy pillar was at the entrance to the tent/tabernacle. John 1:14 tells us: The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. In our journeying and our staying still, God in Jesus is with us.

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