VMMissions Response to COVID-19

Posted on March 17, 2020 by VMMissions Staff

We are all living with upheaval and uncertainty due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Yet as followers of Jesus, we need not give in to fear or hopelessness. As the Apostle Paul reminds us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7).

With that confidence in God, Virginia Mennonite Missions is taking a number of steps to respond to the coronavirus crisis:

  • We are praying for government and public health officials, for our workers, for our partners, and for one another.
  • Our Crisis Response Team stays in regular virtual contact to share updates and respond in proactive ways to the recommendations of government and health officials and the needs of our staff, workers, and volunteers. We are grateful to have three staff members with specialized training in crisis management.
  • We have closed our office to the public through March 27, with the possibility of a longer closure if recommended by government and public health officials.
  • Staff and workers are practicing “social distancing” to curb the spread of the virus. Most of us are working from home and all of us are maximizing the use of virtual platforms to continue our collaborative work.
  • On a case by case basis, international workers are discerning with their directors and local partners whether to stay in their country of assignment or return to their country of origin. Most have chosen to stay. Those who travel are taking extra precautions and self-quarantining for 14 days upon their return.
  • We are creating a relief fund for vulnerable immigrant families in our community facing financial hardship as a result of this crisis. Find out more information at vmmissions.org/cicfund
  • We have created an online forum on Facebook called Physically Distant, Socially Engaged, to encourage mutual support and missional engagement during this time of physical isolation.
  • We are fast-tracking some online discipleship tools for congregations to use while large gatherings are suspended. These will allow believers to meet virtually to encourage each other, hear God’s voice in Scripture, and “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24) among our neighbors.

One of our workers recently shared about a practice that she has found to be helpful when it’s hard to hear the voice of God above the noise of life around us:

As a mother of three who lives in one of the most densely populated cities on earth, among an extroverted people group … when could I listen? One man told me to practice imagining Jesus with me, picturing him next to me even in the busy-ness. Within a few days of that “aha moment,” I found myself having a painful conversation with someone. I imagined holding Jesus’ hand. I squeezed that hand so hard that my own hand hurt afterwards. But the comfort was palpable. The peace I received was real. I had not been alone.

May the peace and presence of Jesus be real to us all as we cling to him in faith.

With appreciation for your prayers and support,
Aaron M. Kauffman

Filed in: All posts, News, Updates


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