Carrying on our mission at such an unusual time0
The way it was. The way it will be. Carrying on our mission at such an unusual time
We are entering a new school and financial year already tired of the pandemic and restrictions yet satisfied with the outcome. We trust God that He will take care of us in the future and we will be able to find the resources for our vital initiatives. God’s faithfulness and mercy are the only foundation of our optimism.
How were these past six months for us, the six months of the pandemic?
For us this lockdown has turned out to be a great time for new ideas, new ministry formats, and new ways of sharing the gospel. It was my responsibility to redesign our programs in the context of pandemic and find creative solutions and help those in need, especially orphans and refugees. This summer season we had variety of ministry formats: online camps, one-day camps, family visits and even tent camps in remote parts of Eurasia, where people know nothing about any rules. So we reached even more children then last year.
Our ministry continues to grow and we now have new team members, new ministry initiatives and new strategic partnerships. Growth is impossible without changes that at times are painful and unexpected, such as a pandemic, lockdown, restrictions of religious freedom, or economic crisis.
Due to the outbreak of the pandemic we had to cancel all our big events, including international meetings for the team, trips of our partners and donors, leadership trainings and full-fledged camps. We had to do our main activities using online platforms. And we had to delegate maximum independence and responsibility to local teams. We were able to stay in touch on a regular basis and feel part of the international team.
At the same time our frontline leaders have become stronger and have acquired a sense of ownership of the ministry that was entrusted to them. In other words, in the face of the pandemic when online communication became the main way of communication, our ministry became more decentralized. This difficult time made it possible for the new leaders to emerge and step up.
We didn’t do less than we had planned, on the contrary, we did more. Our team benefited from this shake-up. We were able to mobilize and find new creative solutions, offer fresh approaches, and revive those ministry initiatives that were lost in the monotonous routine.
We transitioned to new formats
We moved most of our meetings and events from in-person to online
We reduced our expenses
We mobilized new volunteers
We created new resources
All of this would also serve its purpose in the future. So it is not just short-term solution.
In other words, we didn’t just make it through but we prepared ourselves to the future
What will a new school and financial year be like?
We will operate our ministry and training in hybrid formats, that is, we will lean more towards online events and activities and small groups rather than big events
Political, economic and financial situation in Eurasia will be unstable
Ministry and financial priorities will change according to local needs and global trends. It requires us to be flexible more than ever
We will work on the principle “more for less”, that is, maximum effect at the minimum cost
Our staff won’t have it easy; they will have to be more proactive, flexible, productive, multitasking and communicate in a timely manner
We need to be a step ahead of others, otherwise we’ll lose the initiative
In the face of general uncertainty our main assets remain same: our global network of national leaders and international partnerships, strong national leadership, fresh local initiatives and creative solutions, unique resources, prompt response to changing situations. We have to keep it up
We can’t go back to the old normal but we can come out of this crisis stronger and renewed
I am very proud of my field ministries team. It is small though it is well experienced and highly motivated
We will have to say good-bye to those who are not willing to take on additional tasks or go an extra mile, we’ll say good-bye to those who say, “I don’t know what to do, you tell me,” and we’ll say good-bye to those who are not able to find creative solutions, learn and relearn, appreciate and complement each other; we’ll need people who not simply work for the ministry but live ministry in their daily lives.
My prognosis is that we’ll have to make some major changes and shift focus in our team work and strategies
While doing so we’ll have an opportunity to show a worthwhile initiative and consequently draw the attention of new donors and find capable leaders who are looking for their place to serve and who are called and prepared by God for such a time as this
Our most dynamic areas of ministry:
SWW and NGPLI in new hybrid formats
Summer camps and Gift of Hope project as part of ongoing and holistic work with children and families
Family as Mission
Generosity and Stewardship
Publishing of Scripture resources and Christian literature in digital and audio formats, ministry resources and book sets to help leaders and home groups
Supporting leaders and their ministries in regions where religious freedom is considerably restricted
The last area of ministry is very important considering what’s happening in Belarus and Russia as well as Central Asia
Depending on financial (and other) resources we’ll be flexible. Whenever possible we’ll expand our functionality and have a maximum number of ministry areas, or, shrink to missionary think tank, a small center of strategic mission initiatives
So we are ready for adjustments and different scenarios. We are uniquely qualified to serve evangelical Church in Eurasia and train next generation leaders for the ministry within and without church walls. We know our niche pretty well. We know what to do and will keep it up despite all the obstacles and challenges. Appreciate your prayers, support and advocacy