Update 23 June: In our last update at the end of April, we said a small number of our workers had tested positive for COVID-19. All had mild symptoms and have now fully recovered. We praise the Lord for healing these workers quickly, and for graciously protecting the rest of the organization so that we have had no further cases.
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) is still spreading globally, it continues to have a significant impact on OMF ministries in East Asia and our various ministry centers around the world.
OMF International is maintaining its vigilance and readiness to respond in the following ways:
- The international crisis management team continues to monitor the situation as it develops and as different parts of the world experience different phases of the pandemic.
- Our International Medical Team is following the developments in various countries, especially those relevant to our ministries. They are continuing to provide OMF workers with regular updates and advice on practical matters related to COVID-19.
- At a more local level, country leadership teams and medical advisors continue to make sure that we implement appropriate measures that meet local government guidelines. They are also assisting workers in making adjustments in their various ministries, as the impact of this situation continues to unfold.
- As some travel restrictions begin to lift, team leaders are working closely with their team members to navigate the implications of travel restrictions and evolving advice from governments to discern what activities are possible again.
We continue to postpone physical events and gatherings for OMF workers, as well as events for supporters, such as information evenings, mission events and in-person prayer gatherings. Where feasible, some of these events have been replaced by virtual meetings. Serve Asia short-term mission placements before September have been postponed, but we continue to review placements later in the year, depending on how the situation develops.
Additionally, following the advice of their respective governments, a number of OMF centers are now in the process of reopening some of their offices, while some staff still work remotely from home.
Even though we see some countries loosening restrictions and new opportunities to serve emerging, we realize that this pandemic is not yet over. Please pray with us as we continue to navigate this unprecedented situation under the Lord’s guidance. Pray that these crisis circumstances will provide new opportunities to witness and minister. Pray too that many, who have been unable to return to their original place of ministry, will either be able to do so soon, or will experience the Lord’s guidance if a change of focus should be considered.
No matter where our workers are, may they continue to seek ways to practically show God’s love to their neighbors, share the good news of Jesus, and support local churches and believers through these difficult times.
Sam Wunderli, Assistant General Director
On behalf of the OMF International Leadership Team
Responding in prayer
We know it can be hard to know how to pray at times like these. So we have prepared this short resource ‘Four ways to pray in light of COVID-19’, which includes a brief reflection from General Director Patrick Fung.