Over the past few weeks, as response to the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified, we have received numerous inquiries and expressions of concern for IM global servants from our supporting friends and churches. All of us at IM thank you for remembering the missionaries at the frontlines of God’s mission.
The safety and welfare of IM global servants are always of paramount importance and under continual monitoring, even during uneventful seasons. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, IM has taken steps to gauge and ensure global servants’ well-being, including:
• Risk assessments: IM routinely assesses the risks facing each global servant in the specific location where he or she lives and serves. COVID-19 risk assessments take into consideration the number of known cases in the region, the local government’s response, and the global servant’s physical safety and access to basic needs and quality health care. The heightened risks presently associated with international travel—including the likelihood of exposure to the virus and the possibility of flight cancellations or border closures mid-transit—are considered when evaluating whether certain global servants should temporarily leave their country of service.
• Support systems: Many global servants enjoy robust networks of spiritual and social support in their country of service—that is where they are most “at home” and most knowledgeable about where and how to obtain needed resources and services. IM area directors and global personnel services also regularly and proactively maintain contact with global servants in order to check on their well-being, discuss the latest COVID-19 developments in their regions, advise on precautions, and provide spiritual encouragement and logistical support.
• Contingency plans: Written plans are in development for all global servants that itemize specific steps to be taken in the event the threat level for their respective country of service is raised, due to COVID-19 or for other reasons, such that evacuation is warranted. These contingency plans are tailored to each global servant’s specific location and circumstances. All global servants are part of IM’s digital network with access to technology that allows them to reach IM global personnel services 24/7 in the event of emerging changes in their country of service.
IM’s Executive Director / CEO, Sharon Koh, shared that IM makes every effort to prepare for and take necessary action to ensure the safety and welfare of our global servants. Yet our confidence and hope rest in God and in God’s constancy and sovereignty in a world full of uncertainty and suffering. We value and welcome your prayers as we walk together in faith.
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty, I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'” Psalm 91
For the latest information on IM global servants, please visit https://www.internationalministries.org/international-ministries-global-servants/ or https://www.internationalministries.org/category/journals/.