- How is COVID-19 affecting FMC missionaries?
FMC missionaries are spread throughout the world, serving the poor and marginalized who often bear the brunt of tragedies such as political unrest, economic fragility, and natural disaster. Our missionaries have stood by those who are suffering in the countries where they live through countless ordeals. Now, many missionaries have chosen to continue to serve abroad in the midst of COVID-19, while others have decided to return to the States and reassess the rapidly changing risks that face the world at this time. We are in constant communication with our missionaries, encouraging them to live into the freedom that they have, both as individuals and families, to discern the will of God for themselves. Please pray for all of our missionaries and those whom they serve.
- Are missionaries being stranded in the countries where they serve, due to political directives at this time?
While the United States State Department has recommended that those visiting other countries return home, our missionaries are not visitors abroad. Rather they make a real home among those whom they serve. A few of the countries where we serve have closed their borders, complicating travel, but we believe that those who desire to return to the US will be able to do so in time.
- Are FMC missionaries returning home due to COVID-19?
FMC missionaries are free to return home if they desire. We are asking all of our missionaries to stay abreast of all CDC, World Health Organization, and local recommendations and updates on COVID and to prayerfully discern if they should return to the United States or remain where they are currently serving. These recommendations have led to our missionaries making a variety of different decisions. Some missionaries have decided to return home amid challenging circumstances, and are navigating that process. Others have decided to stay where they are. All are aware of the complexity of travel at this time. We support them in making whatever decision is best for them and their family regarding return home.
- Is COVID-19 affecting FMC missionaries’ access to our services?
Although our staff is generally working remotely, we are doubling down on our efforts to serve and communicate with our missionaries during the COVID crisis. Our member care team is supporting our missionaries in a variety of ways, and our directors are doing their best to keep our missionaries informed. We are also working hard to get funds to our missionaries as they need them. We are connecting them with resources for counseling and care, and are united in prayer for one another. Please pray for us!
- Are there any activities happening at Big Woods or FMC’s local retreat centers?
In order to comply with Louisiana’s stay at home order, there are no communal activities happening at any of our home base locations right now. We are working remotely, practicing rigorous social distancing, and reaching out to our missionaries and one another via video, WhatsApp, email, and other methods to stay connected.
- Will FMC continue to train and send out missionaries?
The need for Jesus is more urgent today than ever! We are planning to continue to train and send out full time missionaries. Our training generally begins in September, and missionaries are sent out in January/February, so we will be actively tracking the situation with COVID and making whatever modifications are necessary to keep our missionaries as safe as possible.
- Are FMC missionaries financially affected by COVID-19?
Both our missionaries and the poor whom they serve are being affected, and we are also aware that many of our benefactors are suffering financially. We are praying tirelessly for all of you who continue to selflessly support our missionaries. Your partnership is greatly appreciated. So many of our missionaries are facing unforeseen travel expenses, or will face unexpected medical or alms expenses in the near future. Thank you for your prayers and support! They are literally a lifeline to our missionaries and our brothers and sisters in need around the world.
- What can I do to help the missionary I support?
A word of encouragement from you would mean so much to a missionary right now. A quick upbuilding call, email, text message, or Facebook post goes a long way during this time of uncertainty. Please pray and intercede for the missionary you support and all of our missionaries and staff. Know that we love you and are bringing your needs to the Lord in prayer daily.
Take a moment to intercede for the poor we serve around the world who always have limited access to health care, who are already struggling day to day to meet their basic needs, and especially for those who are facing this fear without Jesus. Pray that we can all be light in this darkness, and that the Lord would intervene to save and protect all who are vulnerable.
Remember, too, to trust in God’s almighty power and providence in this trying time!
“God is our refuge and 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,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”