The Baptists, like many others since March 2020, have been surprised by the world wide spread of pandemic Covid-19. However, many have learned that an obstacle eventually could be turned into an opportunity…
Baptist Church Planting
The EBF together with its mission partners facilitate about 40 indigenous church planters who work in 23 nations of Eastern Europe and the Middle East. They all have delivered reports from the ministry in the first half of 2020.
All of them have written that the pandemic Covid-19 has influenced their work as various restrictions, like distancing and a ban on face to face meetings or even curfew in some countries, were imposed by governments on people. The restrictions for meetings were temporary and the church planters wrote that they have restarted meetings within the range of legal rules.
Some of them informed that the pandemic has limited their activities and they had to change plans. But at the same time even new opportunities began opening up, especially via internet. This certainly can’t replace the real fellowship but thanks to technology the leaders could stay in touch with their people and even make new contacts. Below are some excerpts from the current ministry reports.
The church planter Fatjon from Albania wrote:
“Lockdown caused by Covid-19 was a big obstacle for our work. Due to lockdown, was not possible to meet each other personally, but new way for outreach was that everyone of us shared his testimony through videos published on Facebook. This was an encouragement for one another but also possibility for others to hear the Gospel. We were able to reach some new people who could hear from these videos how God changed our lives. The result is a large number of views that resulted in many new contacts. God helped us that an obstacle could be eventually turned into an opportunity…”
The church planter Kumar from Cyprus shared:
“Due to Covid 19 pandemic issue, there wasn’t much happening in the first half of 2020. From December 2019 until February 2020 there was constant increase in attendance, reaching up to forty-five and the meeting hall was crowded. In March 2020 there was an order from Government to close all religious centers and no face to face gatherings were allowed. From 1st June 2020 all religious centers were reopened, but still with strict restrictions, and our first service gathered as many as 10 believers.”
The church planter Edmond from Iraq