World Race, Gap Year and Semesters Participants, Friends and Family:
These are unprecedented times. As a ministry that has mobilized 130,000+ missionaries over the past 30 years we have managed missionaries through famines, war, riots and revivals. Today a global pandemic grips the world with stories of death and the emotion of fear. We, as a tribe, will not retreat to that fear but rather embrace His promise as is shared in Isaiah 41:
"You are my servant,
I have chosen you and not cast you off";
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Beyond the reality that we will not operate in fear, the Lord has been giving us a series of exhortations that will serve as fuel to our mission. Over the past 2 years, we have responded to the vision God has shown us by establishing missional communities, mobilizing young missionaries in the United States through WR America and activating an army of elders through ‘Rethink Retirement’. Speaking frankly, these initiatives have taken root slowly, but they have been our response, to God, out of obedience.
Later in Isaiah 41 it says:
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water……..
that they may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
This is our perspective as to how we are looking at our mission in light of the decision to bring the missionaries back into the US. We believe flooding the US with 540 returning missionaries in a two-week period provides a base for revival. We are not terminating mission trips but repositioning an army.
We realize there are many questions related to this decision. Of the 24 returning teams, the tenures left on these trips range from 6 weeks to 9 months.
We are exclusively focused on the safe and effective return of our missionaries. They will debrief their experience and strategize about how to remain focused on the mission to reach people for Christ.
The operational and financial realities of this return will not be fully understood for some time, as our staff is currently entrenched in managing the transition.
Our financial and potential redeployment policies will not be made until we are able to assess the impact which we expect to take at least 60 days. This will not take place until all participants have returned, transitioned and we have substantial time to assess the cascading implications of this transition. In that, because of the ever-changing nature of this situation, we are operating with urgency and responding with flexibility to all that is happening.
For now, we continue to focus on the mission of bringing home our missionaries. Please join us in prayer as we carry this out with diligence and care.