By: Dra. Carla Sunberg and Karen Cruz
A few weeks ago, the NMI (Nazarene Missions International) of the Mesoamerica Region produced and broadcast a series of messages and workshops from various global and regional leaders. The hope is that these videos spark conversation in our churches and equip us for today’s mission. After watching each video, a young Nazarene from Mexico City, Karen Cruz, has written several reflections on the issues. Today Karen shares her thoughts on “Missions in Time of Crisis,” shared by Dr. Carla Sunberg.
If you want to see the full video, click here.
Have you ever had so much money that you didn’t know what to do with it?
Have you ever had money that seemed to “disappear,” and you didn’t remember how you spent it?
Have you been able to help someone before, but you didn’t?
You’ve probably heard the phrase “get involved” many times. In these times we can interpret getting involved as “helping someone”. In our world there is great need, and when that need gets worse, it becomes a crisis. During a crisis, we may feel like there is no light or hope, and we aren’t sure what will happen. Although we have all said at some point in the last year: “I don’t know what to do” or “This is very difficult for me”, those feelings are pretty common due to the overwhelming numbers of deaths and poverty around us. The world is changing, so we have to learn and adapt to any situation that comes our way, be it at work, school, with children, or family. The word flexibility has not only become a more common part of our vocabulary but an indispensable reality for surviving.
I come from a very small church where they hardly know or use technology. Do not get me wrong, it is not that we shun technology. It’s just that many times it is difficult as a church to open up to new challenges or to embrace the famous “age of technology.”
When I saw the video of Dr. Carla Sunberg, I was surprised by her story about the teenager in Guatemala. With a lot of effort, she had saved money for a long time to celebrate her 15th birthday. Yet, the Lord was working in her heart and, in the end, she donated it to those most in need. God shows us the meaning of compassion through her act. What she did harkens back to one of the most important commandments God asks of us: she loved her neighbor as herself. Have you done the same in these days?
I can assure you that if God did not want his message to be shared in many parts of the world and in different ways, he would not have given us the tools to do so. Instead of focusing on what we do NOT have, what would happen if we focused more on what God has provided, and how we can together combine our talents, our gifts, and our abilities?
Adapting to technology may often scare us, or we may even think that it could be used against us. But I want to invite you to start from scratch and not be afraid to learn new ways to share the gospel. Only then will we be able to eliminate our barriers and insecurities and commit ourselves to take the good news where it has not been heard.
I want you to think about that home or that family that is suffering in these times of pandemic. All they need is a word of love, a simple gesture, a glimpse of hope. God is that: he is love, he is hope and he is fullness. Let us not neglect the most important parts of our lives: let us strengthen and grow spiritually and personally as members of the church. And let us be who God has created us to be so as to reach the unreached.
If you have the means to help others, don’t limit yourself when sharing and helping in your community. And it’s not just the act; the way that we do it and the enthusiasm with which we give is also important. Remember that we are living testimonies all the time. It is important to pray, worship and seek out opportunities to serve as a church never losing sight of the mandate of preaching and sharing the gospel that our God has given us.
If you are interested in learning more about how to support missions in these times of crisis, don’t miss the chance to watch this video.