Prerogative Fall 2020 - Page 23

COVID-19,” Nix said. “But the greatest need I see, is for peace in the face of fear and for hope in the face of hopelessness. “Humanity doesn’t need to see the need for others; it needs to see the need for a Savior. It can’t really help anyone else until it’s done that,” Nix continued. “If all the world sees is the immediate needs, it’s only seeing the temporal, not seeing the eternal needs.” National leaders such as Michael John in India are cognoscente of such and are tirelessly working to truly see those around them and meet their needs, whether they be temporal or eternal. In one report John shared, “Happy to let you know that we are seeing a great hunger for God even in this most challenging time. Our pastors are doing their best to reach out with the message of good to depressed. We glorify God for all he is doing here.” It’s not only happening in India, but in Amsterdam, Liberia, Haiti, Guatemala, Israel, Cuba, Argentina, and in far more places spread across the continents. In Uganda, for example ,Sonya Schweighardt, IPHC missionary and co-founder of Hope Ministries Uganda, looked up, saw a need, and acted. “Uganda is a hand to mouth society, meaning that they earn small amounts of money on a daily basis, use that money to buy food, then feed themselves,” Schweighardt said. “ With the shut downs, people can’t earn money so they can’t feed themselves. Many of the Batwa would cross over the borders into the DRC to glean gardens, but since the borders are closed, this source of food also disappeared.” Recognizing Hope Ministries Uganda as a source of hope, as in the name, the Ugandan government gave the approval for them to begin Operation Raising Hope. To Schweighardt, and missionaries and other national leaders around the world, recognition and permission from national governments has allowed the church to help the orphaned, widowed, elderly and those unable to care for themselves and their families during this time. And when missionaries like Schweighardt hear reports such as, “You are about to hear of some of us dying because we don’t have food (Florence, a Batwa woman in south west Uganda)”, they are quickly looking up and moving, not in theory, but in action. According to Schweighardt, while they’ve fed over 8,000 people and are providing medical treatment for over 2,000, the need is still tremendous as many are suffering due to starvation. Yet, in the midst, she reports, “We have seen God move so many mountains and we will continue to press forward in prayer and action despite the many obstacles.” From what I can tell, the need for us to look up is only increasing globally. And perhaps, for the believer, the recognition of urgency to share the good news cannot be detached. Just as Nix reported, “For me, with COVID-19, it’s not just about feeding people, it’s about sharing the Gospel. That’s why we are doing it.” As needs continue to arise, may we find our feet planted in our communities and lift our gaze to truly see our neighbors and not glance over them as we are overwhelmed by news. “I have said these things to you , that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 To find out more about how the IPHC is responding to COVID-19 visit https://iphc.org/missions/covid-19- international-relief-fund-report/ For more on Hope Ministries Uganda visit https://hopeministryuganda.org Whitney Browning was the Features Editor of The Bluefield Daily Telegraph before pursuing full-time missionary work. Prerogative Magazine 21