Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Webinar Wisdom for Turbulent Times

Every three months Dave and our Communications team ses up a little studio in our offices in Frýdlant, to host a live webinar for our JV team around Central and Eastern Europe.

Our Communications team does an incredible job of getting everything just right so that when it's "go time", the live stream works, enabling us to meet together as a team who serves in 16 different countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Today's webinar has a different agenda than what Dave had planned just yesterday, before we got news that life is about to change drastically because of the surge here in Europe of COVID-19, the coronavirus.

Dave spent last evening in prayer and thought, revising what he was going to share for his time in the Word, taking into account all that's going on.

By 9:30, he was ready to go live!

I sat next door, at his office desk, to tune into the webinar.

He opened Psalm 29:10-11 for us in light of the serious situation we all are now facing.

Just 16 days ago, there were 100 cases of coronavirus in Italy; ten days ago there were 1000 there, and today 10,000. The rest of the European countries are looking at that and saying "That's just across the border - what do we do?" The epicenter of this pandemic has now shifted to our part of the world.

We too are adjusting to current realities as events are cancelled - KPM (training for 600 Slovak leaders), ForMission campus, EXIT Tours, Slovenia youth leader training, Edge Games (for our Edge sports ministries across JV) - all of these, and more, have been cancelled in just the past 24 hours.

Dave's question to us was: How do we respond in these turbulent times?

We don't usually make these public since they're more like "family meetings", but this one is now on Vimeo HERE, if you're interested. The first half hour is Dave's teaching, while the rest is updates from our team.

Dave's main points from Psalm 29 were exactly what it says: that God is sovereign over events, He is sovereign over floods (viruses), He is King forever and sovereign over time, and God is working to give us peace.

He shared about how surfers get the best waves in storms so look for the wave, and how we can walk as confidently as the captain of the ship (above), who was the last to walk off after his ship had been in quarantine because so many passengers had contracted the virus. Troubles can't steal our peace!

Under pressure, we have the opportunity to become a piece of coal or a diamond.

He talked about this being an opportunity for us to:

  • do important things that we haven't had time for - have an extended time in prayer and in the Word...
  • deal with things we've put off - projects, conversations, problems
  • have space for innovation - try new things and consider news ways of doing ministry
  • see unique doors that will open because of a commonly shared experience

We don't know what the days, weeks and months ahead hold. But we know the One who holds it all together, who is seated on the throne right now, accomplishing His plans.

Our question is, "God, what is your agenda and how can we get on it?"

I'm actually excited to see God's purposes accomplished through these turbulent times!

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