On Mission in Crisis
Apr 8, 2020 | 4 min read | Dave Patty
How do you stay on mission in the midst of a crisis?
Many of you gave to your Josiah Venture missionary or ministry this month, and we are very grateful. I know this crisis is affecting you personally in some way as you receive this letter. You may have lost financial resources, been limited in where you can go, or even lost your job. Your normal routine has been thrown out the window, and you have had to respond to many canceled events.
Yet, you continued to invest your financial resources to help us reach young people in Central and Eastern Europe with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you.
A crisis like this one forces us to reflect on what is most important. As all of us are working hard to protect life, we recognize that our best efforts only postpone what is inevitable. Someday every person currently living on planet earth will face death. Ensuring that they have the opportunity to spend eternity with the Father because they have put their faith in Christ is of utmost importance.
You’ll be encouraged to know that the JV team is working hard to stay on mission in the midst of crisis. Each of our country borders have been closed, students are not gathering in schools, and all of our evangelistic and training events scheduled during the epidemic have been canceled. We know this is no surprise to our God, so we have been investing energy into creative innovation and working to reach the same destination by a different path.
In Slovenia, a youth online Bible study began in one church on the first day of the crisis with just 6 participants. Ten days later the group numbered 60—meeting every day. Our team in Slovakia has created 6 challenges for every week that are being sent out to 600 youth leaders. Covering everything from daily Bible study to cooking something new, the young people post their responses to the challenge on a Facebook page to inspire others.
JV staff are leading online evangelistic Bible studies with unbelievers, many who now have much more time and are asking the basic questions of life. Youth groups in Romania are gathering together around meals—each in their own home, but sharing the experience live through the internet with others.
Our Fusion choirs are experimenting with online rehearsals, and our Edge sports leaders are sending out a workout of the day and a Word of the day to the young people on their teams. Other JV staff are sending out daily videos or blogs that are being viewed by thousands of people.
Many of the young people in the youth groups we work with come from non-Christian families. As church services go online, the Word is now entering into their homes and impacting family members who would never join them in church but they are curious enough to follow a service online. Some churches are seeing their attendance double as curious bystanders join in through their computers and phones.
Please continue to stand with us through your gifts and prayers as we seek to share the good news and point people to Jesus. In the midst of a crisis, this mission is of utmost importance.
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