NZCMS National Director, Rosie Fyfe, shares an update from NZCMS and our Mission Partners.
God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. (Psalm 46)
Grace and peace to you in these uncertain times. As we watch the news, and as we respond in the contexts that we are each part of, let us hold fast to God our refuge. Let us find our strength in Him. Let us remind each other that our Lord is truly an ever-present help in times of turmoil.
I want to assure you that NZCMS staff are keeping in frequent contact with all of our Mission Partners in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We are assessing and responding to risk, taking into account different contexts and situations. For example, in response to the NZ government directive for New Zealanders travelling internationally to return home, our Better World Gap Year team are returning from Fiji on Sunday 22 March, a few days earlier than planned.
At the same time, we know that our long-term Mission Partners have chosen to live and share the love of Jesus amongst people in different parts of the world. While ensuring they do not take undue risk, there can be a calling to stay in difficult times, to stay for the long-term rather than simply finishing a project or a contract.
Here in New Zealand, churches are getting active and finding creative ways to support people in their communities, and to continue in worship and mission. Likewise, our Mission Partners are people who have committed to sharing the love of Jesus in the contexts where God has placed them, and they are finding ways to reach out in the midst of this situation.
We would like to ask that you would:
- Please continue praying for Mission Partners. Some are already living in lock-down, others are faced with decisions. Pray for wisdom for unexpected Kingdom moments of seeing God at work, and opportunities to care for those around them in whichever way is possible.
- Please continue giving towards the financial support of Mission Partners, even if they return to New Zealand for a period. This tangible demonstration of your support towards them and their work is more important now than ever. If a Mission Partner needs to return from their location of service NZCMS will continue to financially support them for a period of time; we will also need you to continue to care for your Mission Partner in this way.
- For any Mission Partners who return to New Zealand, we will help them find places to self-isolate. We would like to create a list of possible places, such as holiday houses, where any returning Mission Partners could self-isolate. Please let us know if you have anyone in your congregation who may have a property they can offer for this purpose.
One thing that I have always loved about NZCMS is that we see each other as family. If there are any ways we can support you at this time, our staff would love to hear from you (firstname.lastname@example.org).
May the Lord bless you and keep you,