Much of our time in lockdown has been spent encouraging and equipping national partners via phone calls and video chats, as they do the same among those they lead. Though we are apart, this time has proven to deepen relationships as we stay in constant communication, holding one another accountable as we walk through this difficult time together.
Through daily conversations with national partners, we are hearing how the lockdown is beginning to deeply impact families due to loss of work and wages. Leaders are sharing about needs among believers and within their own communities for daily food. The local body is doing its best to meet needs of others but struggling, as most have been weeks without income. With the help of these national brothers, we are working to identify families with the greatest need–those without food—to provide them with basic rations such as rice and lentils. We have identified about 100 families; this number will most likely grow as lockdowns continue in the coming months.
Even in all these struggles and restrictions, we continue to see God’s kingdom advance. God is building His church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The body of Christ is called ever on the offensive, not to maintain ground, but to storm all Satan has a hold upon. For the kingdom we inherit is unshakable even as the world convulses in pain and fear.
The call remains and we each must remember who we are in Christ and what we are called to do. Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-12, “And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.”
The primary role of ministry belongs to the saints—to every disciple within the local body. The leadership is to equip the saints through exemplifying the life of Christ, encouraging those they lead with sound teaching, admonishing and loving for the purpose of entrusting the body to engage in kingdom work.
It has been our joy to continue to see the local body continue to advance in this work by the hand of the Holy Spirit. This week, one sister led seven women to faith who all then were baptized, surprising even her own local pastor, who told us, “I did not think her capable to do such work, nor did she think herself, but God in this situation taught us both something. We have much more to learn and I have much to repent of.”
The reality is, God has a greater passion and love for His kingdom and His church than any of us do. And so, we can trust He will do great things during this time both in and through the local body of Christ and each one of us—saints entrusted with the work of ministry led by the Spirit and called by God.