History tells us that great mission breakthroughs tend to occur during times of personal, national or global crises. The Pharaoh of Egypt acknowledged the sovereign God who foretold him about the upcoming national and global economic crises through dreams and Joseph’s interpretation of his dreams (Gen. 41). King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian Empire came to know the sovereign God after witnessing God’s deliverance of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the blazing furnace (Dan. 3:13-30). General Naaman of Syria confessed that “there is no God in all the world except in Israel” after he was healed from leprosy (2 Kings 5).
God often shakes up individuals and people through crises of life so that they may be humbled and turn to the Lord. Currently, it seems that God is shaking up the whole world through the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become a global crisis. As of June 14, 2020, 7,854,365 are infected with this virus and 431,680 are dead throughout the world. And the numbers continue to increase dramatically. We are experiencing life like we never have. We are in a crisis, but this crisis may also become an opportunity for us. Life and work will never be the same as before. Missionary work also will not be the same. We need new mission strategies applicable in our changed world.
The theme of the 68th issue of Asian Missions Advance is ‘Mission in Times of Crisis.’ Most of the article contributors to this issue talk about mission during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Hwang Sungjoo of Korea World Mission Association (KWMA) calls for major shifts in doing mission for the upcoming new era in his article “A Revolutionary Transformation Is Under Way In The History of Human Civilization.” He says that, indeed, a golden opportunity for world evangelization and the completion of God’s kingdom is underway and that we must all take advantage of this situation to use it as an opportunity to fix our eyes on God. Dr. John Edmiston in his article “Corona Virus, Urban Slums, and Prayer” calls for our attention on the importance of prayer and work for the suffering people in urban slums. Brother Thir Koirala in his article “The COVID-19 and Its Effect in God’s Mission in Nepal” shares with us what the Nepalian Christian leaders are doing during the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, Dr. James Langteau with Dr. Somboon Payakom gave us a tour of what is happening in Myanmar, a troubled nation in need of Christ! And Dr. Jonghun Joo shared the troubles he witnessed in Africa!
May God speak to us through these writers, as to what to do during this COVID-19 pandemic and afterwards. Let us pray and see what the sovereign God will do, and let us participate in God’s mission as the Holy Spirit guides us.
Timothy K. Park, Editor