Ministry Doesn’t Stop
Written by Jacquelyn Davis
Today is not like yesterday. This month is not like last month. This year is not like last year. This is a new day–with new challenges, new fears and struggles. As I sit here and watch what is going on all around us it can feel overwhelming and earth shattering. There is a piece of me that wants to shrivel up and go hide in a hole. I mean, what can we do? Everything is shutting down. Things are changing. Churches are closing. I have never seen anything like this before. The mantra today seems to be, “Cancel everything and go home.”
But ministry doesn’t stop. Missionaries do not cease to exist. The need does not disappear. In fact, this is the time for missions. This is when the need for ministry is ever present. Each Monday night the interns and I gather in my small living room with our cups of coffee and tea. With the fireplace blazing and interns coloring or crafting, I open up a missionary biography and begin to read. These are some of the most precious and humbling moments as we read about what men and women went through and sacrificed, all for the sake of the gospel. There were diseases, death, and tragedy. They faced governments who didn’t want them spreading Christianity. They faced months of travel by ship. They faced little, if any, contact with their families. Yet, in those dire situations, the gospel was desperately needed. When China was facing war, it was even more needed for Gladys Aylward to care for the children. When the Burmese government wasn’t happy with Christians, it was necessary for Adonirom Judson to continue to teach the small group of believers as they continued to grow. And now, as our country and world faces something unique to us and our life time, ministry is still needed.
Ministry will look different. Ministry will change how it functions, but ministry will still exist. It is now, in a time of uncertainty and fear, that ministry is needed most. When people are out of school and jobs, unsure of the future it is then that they turn and ask, “What do we do now?” The thing is we have the answers. We may not know all the specifics of our near future but we do know the future. And we know the one who holds the future in His hands. We know the one who has all the answers and can fix every problem. We know the one who came to redeem a people. We have everlasting hope.
Therefore, we should be on the frontlines. We should be the ones leading the way. In every single little moment and in every small interaction, we should be the ones giving answers. Ministry doesn’t stop for a world pandemic.
How do we keep going when all seems lost and uncertain? There were many believers who faced a similar question throughout the ages. In fact, the early church faced it as they went through a time of being scattered and persecuted. They had to meet in small groups and not out in the open. Be encouraged, my dear friend, trials and struggles are not new. Corrie Ten Boom and her family had to find unique ways to serve the Lord during World War II. It had to be in code or in secret at times and yet they did not shrivel up but reached out with the hope that they had. Corrie had great hope and we have it as well. 1 Peter 1:3-4 says, “He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” All throughout Scripture we are reminded of this hope we have in Christ. Corrie knew this hope. Despite the persecution and imprisonment and discouragement, Corrie knew she had the hope that others needed.
Amy Carmichael also faced much opposition and discouragement from the local people and governments. However, this did not stop Amy from ministering or caring for those who needed help. It was because of her perseverance during the most difficult times that she saw the fruit of her labor. It is often through the trials and persecution that opportunities for ministry and the gospel to be shared start coming out of the woodwork.
So be encouraged today dear friend. Remember that you know the One who knows, even when it feels like nothing makes sense. Keep pursuing the lost. Keep seeking His face. Remain faithful. And, as Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Jacquelyn Davis serves as Intern Coordinator for the National office. To learn more about the ministry of CBM or about their internship program click HERE