COVID-19 might have brought a halt to many industries, but it has not stopped the Gospel from spreading across the nations.
In late April, when shutdowns were still fairly recent due to the coronavirus outbreak, mission experts worried about the future of mission efforts and how organizations can sustain their funding.
But as reports show, it looks like the COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the spread of the Gospel across the nations, the Christian Post reported. Instead of dampening efforts, Christians have found a way to spread the good news - including the use of media and technology to reach people.
As a due example, ABWE International, also known as the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, with its headquarters in Pennsylvania testified to God blessing them tremendously despite earlier concerns of financial uncertainty due to the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic.
Alex Kocman, one of ABWE International's director said that they are "elated by God's faithfulness" over this year which is "set to be one of ABWE's strongest financial years to date."
"Our overall sense is that God has blessed us tremendously, in spite of global events which one would think would immediately bring missions to a screeching halt."
Long-term missions have also continued with short-term missions at a temporary "standstill."
Kocman added that church missions still continue with the help of using strategies that involve technology like Zoom.
"Simultaneously, those raising support have found it easier to build their support teams through Zoom meetings with church leaders, friends, and other supporters."
Kocman adds that ABWE's Live Global Ministry "was uniquely poised for ministry in a pandemic." The missionary group launched the said ministry to help connect Christians even in remote locations using technology.
Another mission group, MissionGO, reported their finances to be stable despite the recent declines in the giving they usually received.
Other mission groups like the Training Leaders International and Radius International also reported a drop in their giving, but still remain stable despite the pandemic.
It's another story for the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention in Richmond, Virginia. Where others had a drop in giving this year, theirs became strong in the presence of online giving.
In an email, IMB reports that they had an additional increase in digital giving this year by 42 percent saying that their "sacrificial givers have looked beyond present hardship with hope and continued or even expanded their faithful giving in the toughest times."
The mission group's chief officer, Chris Kennedy also notes in a statement that "IMB is fueled by a legacy of generous supporters captivated by a seemingly impossible vision for all to know Christ."
Still, the missionaries are not immune to the COVID-19 virus. Multiple cases of COVID-19 were reported among missionary personnel across the nations, but most were mild cases.
It's also a whole new world as well for missionaries and churches who do church missions. Instead of face-to-face meetings at regular places like coffee shops or restaurants to raise funds, churches are now doing fundraising and networking via the remote meeting app, Zoom.
Michael Connor, pastor of Mission and Outreach of the megachurch Immanuel Bible Church still finds hope of enhanced communication through remote meetings like Zoom and Skype.
IMB spokeperson Julie McGowen speaks of a ray of hope amidst the challenging year with the new avenues that the LORD is opening for His people.
"People are coming to the Lord through new avenues such as social media in greater numbers than prior to the pandemic."