Missionary Updates in Light of COVID-19

At Grace Point, we are passionate about fulfilling the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). We believe that we are called to share the Gospel through words and actions in our community, in our region, in our country and beyond our borders. We are committed to giving our Grace Point family opportunities to participate in what God is doing by partnering with ministries and organizations in outreach endeavors as well as sending teams on short term mission trips.

Another way our Grace Point family remains “on mission” is by supporting our 21 missionary families around the globe through prayer, encouragement and finances. We are so grateful for the obedience and faithfulness in which our missionaries serve within the United States and beyond our country’s borders. They provide us with such inspiration and cause us to reflect on how we’re fulfilling the Great Commission in our spheres of influence. The work they do, in the name of Jesus Christ, is filled with extreme challenges when life is “normal.”

Nate & Jendi Korpi serving as church planters in Panama City, Panama have also been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Can you even imagine how much MORE challenging it must be to be on the mission field within the United States and outside of our country in these unprecedented times? Consider the adjustments we have had to make in our daily routines. Consider the fears we’ve had as people are becoming infected and dying around us. Consider the despair and deep sadness we’ve faced as we’ve experienced loss of people, loss of income, loss of milestone moments and loss of purpose. I’ve always viewed missionaries as extraordinary people who challenge me to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1) During these difficult times, especially, they serve as my heroes. I bet they do you as well.

We have heard from several of our missionaries and they’ve shared how this pandemic is affecting them and their ministry. As you would expect, they briefly shared some of their personal challenges, but they were more focused on how they were seeing God amid it all. Again, they are my heroes.

I want to share a small sampling of how they have seen the fingerprints of God:

  • The gratefulness for the gift of technology was voiced from all our missionaries! Due to the relational aspect of ministry, WhatsApp, email, Zoom, texting, etc. has kept them connected not only to their families and friends, but also to those they’ve been cultivating relationships with as they serve. Technology provides the means to connect, but it is also proving to encourage more authentic and real dialogue as sometimes it’s easier to share vulnerabilities through a device as opposed to an in-person small or large group gathering.
  • Out of Bolivia, the day that the Bolivian Minister of Health declared all classes NATIONALLY would be suspended, they were in session which allowed the teachers to send their students home with all their books and materials needed for online schooling. This has made online schooling more successful.
  • Out of Central Asia it was mentioned that the fear of COVID-19 and the “cultural fear of death” has opened many doors to share about the saving grace of Jesus. They have reported that there is an openness to hearing about God and there is more opportunity to correct false thinking and share the Truth.
  • Out of the Middle East, it was shared that there is a sense of a “prayer movement” happening. There is some exciting activity stemming from a group of new believers (less than 6 months) connecting weekly and praying together!
  • From the United States, it is exciting to see that people are continuing to inquire and fill out applications to go overseas and join in transformational education around the world especially with so much up in the air right now!

I suspect you are encouraged and inspired, as am I, seeing even more evidence that a worldwide pandemic is no match for our great God! It is a blessing to hear from our missionaries and partnering with them through prayer by supporting the work that God is doing through them and beyond them.

Speaking of prayer! If you would like to sign up for our Daily Focus prayer list, where prayer requests of our missionaries are shared, please do so by emailing go@gracepointpa.org with your name and we will add you to the list.

Enjoy this video, sent by Katie Beth Wilke, our missionary in Santa Cruz, Bolivia as she shares how her day to day life has been affected by COVID-19. However, as you’ll see, her joy in serving the Lord hasn’t been affected one bit!!

April 2020 Update from Katie Beth Wilcke, serving in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

You Know Jesus, Don’t You?

I have the privilege of traveling around this great country of ours leading professional development for predominantly public school teachers…so I’m a “teacher of teachers.”  Recently I was in Iowa teaching a lovely group of middle school teachers.  At the lunch break, one of the teachers came to talk to me and she said something that I’ve been asked on a few occasions now.  She said, “You know Jesus, don’t you?”  

This question always surprises me as I know that I never stand in front of a group of teachers and outwardly share my love for Jesus.  I never present the gospel message.  I never open my bible and share God’s Word.  I never pause our day to say a prayer, although I pray throughout the entire day.

I smiled at her and said, “I do know Him and I assume you do too!” And then we had the sweetest, most genuine conversation about our faith and about our love for our Savior.  We talked about how, even in the public school setting, we can still live out our faith and demonstrate our love for Jesus in our words, our actions and reactions.  We talked about how we invite Jesus into that setting which can be so very hostile towards Him.  I got to know my “Sister in Christ” over the 4 days we spent together and I thank God for this special encounter and for the reminder that our lives do serve as a testimony to others and especially to those who can’t quite figure out what makes us different.

Matthew 5:16 ” In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”