With so many crisis scenarios in communities globally, AGWM missionaries stand in greater need than ever of support from home. Many are dealing with illness or its very real threat, a lack of medical care, closed borders, deep loneliness, and the intensified pain of separation when loved ones endure sickness, job loss or other challenges.
As well, missionaries share with church leaders in the nations they serve deep concern for their host countries, local communities, and families and individuals in crisis. Natural disasters in many countries have compounded the suffering and strain of the coronavirus pandemic. Complex and deeply painful situations confront missionaries daily.
Today more than ever, the missionary body stands in need of fervent intercession for empowerment, healing, protection, provision, and relief from fear, loneliness, and every other distress.
Deeply stirred after an intense prayer session in the empty sanctuary of his church, Senior Pastor Mark Lehmann of Cornerstone Assembly of God (which has a rich heritage of missions advocacy and support) in Bowie, Md., has offered a pastoral letter of encouragement to the entire AGWM missionary body:
“There is no way for me to fully understand what you are going through. Some of you are under curfew, unable to leave your home. Others are separated from your family at a time that you would like to hold them and let them know that things will be all right. Some of you are concerned about your children who are with you and what the days ahead will look like for them. Some of you are praying against sickness, maybe not from the virus, but from a myriad of other physical concerns. Many, if not all, have had moments of worrying about support and how things will be taken care of. Still others of you feel a deep sense of isolation that can give way to thoughts that lead to anxiety and fear. Some of you are sensing a deep renewal of your soul, as you are constrained to spend extra time with the Lord, and in His Word, calling out needs and claiming the promises of God. Others have new ministry opportunities that have risen out of this crisis. You may find yourself in an area we have mentioned or one completely unique to you."
Concluding his letter, Lehmann states, “To sum it all up, He loves you and He wants you to know that the same thing you preach to others so passionately, He wants to speak deep into your spirit. … He loves you more than you have known up to this point. So, at this time, I am praying that you will open your heart to new reservoirs of His love and care that you have never experienced before.”