During this unusual and perhaps fearful, difficult or challenging time of the Coronavirus pandemic, we need daily reminders that we can trust our good and faithful Lord and Savior, no matter what we face.
He has given Himself - subjected Himself to great suffering - for us. And because of it our eternal future is secure.
But He’s also given us His presence, here and now, to celebrate life’s joy-filled peaks, and to hold our hands through our dark times, through the “valleys of the shadow of death.”
Here’s how three of our partners have seen Him at work, revealing Himself to be more than trustworthy during these unusual times.
1.Clean water for Zulu families arrives in time for lockdown.
In KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, just before the government mandated everyone remain at home, God knew the needs of impoverished Zulu families in Zulu Natal, South Africa, and He provided.
Zulu rondavels in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
KwaZulu Natal is a rural area, where many families struggle in poverty.
A friend of ITMI’s Kelly Smith contacted him and donated clean water.
Kelly and his daughter, Fifi, also an ITMI partner, took the donated water to a place in their community where the public water taps hadn’t been working since December.
Families there had been having to boil water from the river.
The recipients of the gift of clean water were so happy and thankful. “We used that opportunity to share the Gospel with them,” says Fifi. Kelly’s friend donated water once more before everyone was mandated to stay in their homes.
The Lord knew their need before they did, and He worked on their behalf to provide for them, and even arranged so that Fifi and Kelly were on-hand to share about the good Savior from whom the gift came!
ITMI's Fifi Smith was on-hand with her father, Kelly Smith, to share the Good News with those who received clean water.
2.Lockdown Creates Opportunity for Answered Prayer and Trust at Casa Dorca Children’s Home
At Casa Dorca Children’s Home in Romania, they too, are locked down and unable to leave the property.
The local school is closed for the rest of the year, but the children are getting and completing their school work via the internet. The leadership reports that the children are handling the lockdown well:
Even though there is an understanding of seriousness among the kids regarding the situation in the world, they are not fearful.
Some of them have mentioned that they are nervous sometimes, but the overall attitude is calm.
This has been a major focus of prayer during this time, and we ask that you continue to pray for the peace of God to rule in the hearts of our kids and staff.
The leadership also notes that they have been holding Wednesday and Sunday services in the home since they can’t attend their regular church.
“We are blessed in a time like this to still be able to have church with 20 people, because we’re all quarantined together,” Ionel writes.
Even in the face of so many great needs around the world, the Lord cares about and is meeting the emotional needs of the Casa Dorca children - many of whom have endured traumatic pasts - through the prayers of their leaders.
The Lord is meeting the emotional needs of the children at Casa Dorca Children's Home.
3.Eastern European Red Tape Turns out to be the God’s Preventative Care
At the end of February and in the first week of March, ITMI's Adi and Ema Ban were returning home from traveling.
The couple travel often to present marriage conferences and training in various places around Europe. They returned home just two days before the Romanian government closed all the schools.
Ema writes, “Later on, we realized God had His protective hand on us in spite of much traveling at the end of March.”
ITMI's Adi and Ema Ban preparing for a marriage conference in Poznan, Poland in partnership with ITMI's Poznan International Church.
Earlier this spring, the Bans shared with their supporters a challenge they were facing with scheduling a mission visit to the area of Ukraine that is under Russian attack.
One main purpose of this trip was going to be helping a pastor build a greenhouse, which would help him care for and reach his community with the Gospel by providing vegetables during the winter.
Adi with Ukrainian pastors and leaders on the land the local government agreed to give them for a greenhouse during his visit to Ukraine in 2019.
The Russian bombing makes obtaining necessities difficult and expensive in his city.
But the necessary legal paperwork was held up, which caused Adi and his team to wait to lock in dates and purchase tickets. The Bans reflect,
The Lord knew very well why to hold on to the release of the documents through the local government.
Should they have released them on time, we would have purchased the tickets, materials, equipment, etc. just before the close down on traveling and borders. Thank you, Lord!
Though many ministry events were cancelled for now, the Bans quickly seized the opportunity to lead God’s people to turn to him with the extra time people may have while in lockdown.
“The Lord placed on our hearts to initiate several things for our brothers and sisters in Christ, locally and far away,” they said.
Adi initiated quite a few men’s prayer groups meeting online during different times of various days throughout the week.
One early every morning, another later in the morning on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and some mornings, even a third meeting takes place.
There is a prayer meeting every evening and an additional prayer time after the daily one on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings!
These prayer meetings became “prayer showers” for us all!
We have been very encouraged by sharing a text from the Scripture and then praying for our families, children, the Church of Jesus Christ (local and global), for the unsaved people, for the sick and needy, for authorities, for Romania.
We praise the Lord for his work in our lives.
These are three early examples of how the Lord is sovereign over this pandemic. Firstfruits, if you will, indicating who He will be and what He will do during this pandemic - even when our own resources look bleak.
It is this knowledge of His faithfulness and power that leads us - propels us - to demonstrate to the world an approach to this pandemic that is distinctly lacking in fear and seeped in the sacrificial love of Jesus.