Dear Friends,

These are extraordinary weeks for the peoples of the world as the coronavirus continues to spread, bringing with it suffering and uncertainty. In this Thursday prayershot, Mee Fang Njoo, who starts this month as our part-time programme development coordinator in East Asia, asks two questions about this global pandemic:

“Is it about us? No, not only us. How can this sweeping, global catastrophe be only about we human beings, who are so limited and local? There must be more to it. God’s presence and purpose are active as well. So rather than focusing all our energy on human responses and efforts, we need also to turn our attention towards God, the creator and ruler of the world.

8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.’ (Psalm 46.8-10)

Let’s be people who ‘look up’ and not just ‘look around’. Let's spend time in the Word of God and not just the news of the world. Today is the perfect time to affirm that our God is a global God. Let’s bear witness to his power in overcoming the problems we see worldwide.

Is it against us? Yes, all of us. Look around the world. We are experiencing the power of a disease that is proving difficult to overcome. This tiny virus has penetrated more than 200 countries. COVID-19 is aimed at us, like a surprise delivery from a world of darkness. It has gripped every country and every ruler. We are not excluded from the line of people entering the dark valley of this viral threat. Our families, our churches, our friends, our training – none are excluded from the suffering.

We need a global God in response to this global disaster. As a surprise delivery, this pandemic needs a delivery receipt, a response. God waits for the response of his people. One response to make is in our preaching. This is the time for us to hear from God and to speak for God in a way that is faithful, clear and relevant. If God has shut some doors in the way we do this (for example, church services and training seminars), then he will open other doors (for example, live-streaming). Let's embrace, with creativity and courage, all the opportunities that God is opening up for us.”