In this week’s #GreatCommission Recap… a continued look at the coronavirus situation, how to best engage internationals as an American, and why we should be compelled to go with the hope of the gospel based on Romans 10.
An Eye on the Nations
The news is typically difficult to read. The realities of our sinful and broken world can often be overwhelming, and I must confess that this week it seems especially difficult. There are stories of persecution, government turmoil, earthquakes, and the like.
The coronavirus, which we covered last week, continues to spread. The death toll has risen to over 550. People are being quarantined on cruise ships, cities are shut down, travel bans have been put in place. It’s a scary time for many people. But in the midst of government crackdowns on religious freedom, could it be a divine opportunity for God to bring good out of evil? Our Chinese brothers and sisters have dealt with difficult circumstances consistently for years, but historically, their trying times have only led to the flourishing of the church. Now, with even more severe restrictions, we can trust that God will continue to bring flourishing and unique opportunities for the gospel.
As usual, we’d like to challenge you to pray. A pastor from Wuhan offers some helpful encouragement:
“The past few days I have received many inquiries from foreign pastors. They and the whole church are concerned for this city, even more for us; and confronting this epidemic, seek to serve the city with us.
Thus, I especially ask them to turn their eyes upon Jesus. And do not be concerned with my welfare, nor be agitated or fearful, but pray in the name of Jesus. Good hearted people are through their actions serving this city, especially the medical personnel who are risking their own lives. If they can take on such worldly responsibilities, how can we not more readily take on spiritual responsibilities!
If you do not feel a responsibility to pray, ask the Lord for a loving soul, an earnestly prayerful heart; if you are not crying, ask the Lord for tears. Because we surely know that only through the hope of the Lord’s mercy will this city be saved.”
To read more about China, the coronavirus and some positive reflections, check out the following articles:
This week’s articles:
Break the Rules: Engaging Internationals as an American
Keelan Cook gives us three cultural “rules” that are actually okay to break when engaging internationals.
“We’re told to make disciples of all nations, and when God brings the nations to your doorstep, your local church has a biblical responsibility to care about those he brings. That’s simply not a choice we get to make. No, the question is really how best to engage our new immigrant neighbors with the gospel, knowing that they are from different cultures with different backgrounds that we may not understand.”
Pastor and SBC President, J.D. Greear, preaches on Romans 10:14-17, a passage that urges us to go into all the world with the hope of the gospel.
Southeastern 5K 2020
The Southeastern 5K is coming up quickly, and so is Valentine’s Day! Would you show us love and help us reach 300 runners by the 14th? Learn more and register here.
We could also still use some help on the day of the race. If 5Ks aren’t your thing but you’re interested in volunteering, you can sign up for a specific volunteer position here.