I got the text at 11pm three weeks ago. A fellow missionary had sent me an image printed with the words, “Notice: By instructions from the Board of General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene, all missionary activity around the world has been canceled.”
I sat up in bed. I knew this was false. As the COVID-19 virus began to affect every nation, we had been receiving updates directly from the Director of Global Missions and from the General Superintendents telling us that we should postpone large events or gatherings and stop traveling from country to country for the next few months. However, they always encouraged us to keep going, keep inspiring, keep seeking creative ways to fulfill the Great Commission. Yes! That’s great leadership, and that’s how we feel, too! My family is even more passionate in this time that God is still on the move, and that we must accompany him – even if it looks different right now.
But the image looked so official. It had the Nazarene Missions International and the Church of the Nazarene official logos on it. Where did my fellow missionary get it from? Somebody else who got it from somebody else who got it from…you get the idea. I sent it to our Regional NMI Coordinator. We agreed that this was “fake news” for sure, although it became important even at that late hour to debunk such a dangerous misconception. By the next day, and with the help of other authorities in the region and the denomination, we had effectively squashed any such rumors. The Church of the Nazarene will most definitely be engaging in missionary endeavors during this time of “staying at home”, and we will ALWAYS do so! It’s part of our DNA!
Even before that image came across my phone, I had met with our missionaries on the field ministering with Genesis. I encouraged them but also gave them several ways that they can take advantage of and even advance in their ministries in this weird, quarantined time (In a few days, I will publish those suggestions, as many of you have wondered what they were). But one thing that we decided to do in the meantime is send out a message to all those who have prayed for, given to, or supported Genesis in any way. Gary Faucett (together with his wife, Naomi, serving as Member Care Facilitators for the ministry) deserves all the credit for what you’ll see below. Share it with someone today! Making this video has encouraged us, and we hope it inspires you as well!