Every 18 months, Back to God Ministries International typically gathers all 10 international ministry leaders from around the world for a time of fellowship, peer learning, and visiting Christian Reformed churches.
Like many events around the world this year, the scheduled gathering was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, BTGMI’s ministry leaders came together in a different way during this time of uncertainty. Each leader learned from one another how to use media ministry to respond to the coronavirus in their unique cultural context.
“Leaders prayed for each other and shared ideas about the opportunities our media ministries have to reach people with the message of the gospel in these uncertain times,” shared Jeffrey Schra, BTGMI’s director of advancement.
As the virus began spreading throughout China, Pastor Jerry An quickly began to rework his ministry team’s schedule to help Christians who are unable to meet with fellow Christians in person because of the virus.
“Christians are looking for faith-based resources that they can use from their homes,” An said. “And non-Christians are looking for answers about the virus as well as to life’s biggest questions.”
As the virus continued to spread, other BTGMI ministry leaders saw similar increases in response to their media-based programs.
In North America, members of BTGMI’s English outreach, ReFrame Media, began hearing from people like Deborah, who shared that she was feeling “abandoned by God” and isolated from her loved ones as she daily headlines about the increasing number of deaths.
Just as An did, ReFrame responded to Deborah and others like her, encouraging her to seek God’s comfort in this time.
“Drawing near to God reminds us of a higher plan and purpose for our lives in the redemptive work of Jesus,” wrote Rev. Deb Koster on a blog post at familyfire.com.
Through BTGMI, the Christian Reformed Church is bringing messages of hope in Christ to the world’s computer screens, radios, and smartphones.
“I’ve been receiving a lot of calls from sick people asking for prayer,” said Rev. Marc Nabie, BTGMI’s French ministry coordinator in Burkina Faso. “This is a good time to announce the good news that despite the situation, God loves us and would like to be close to each of us.”