New Globalscope campus minister is first to go to field during pandemic
“First missionary to leave for the field during an international pandemic” … the award no one anticipated receiving just a few months ago! Then 2020 arrived, the world entered into a global pandemic, and our lives were flipped upside down. When I first applied for Globalscope a couple of years ago, the picture that I had painted about what my first few weeks in the British Isles looked like was very different from what has transpired.
While I sat through my eighth Zoom meeting of the week, it was hard to imagine what my life and ministry would look like in the coming weeks. But I couldn’t help but be reminded about how Jesus also started his ministry in isolation — forty days of it, without food or water and intense temptation. I was reminded that the God who spent those 40 days alone, in far worse conditions, also lives in me, and that He is constant and loving and compassionate. Even in the midst of a seemingly unending isolation period, where I was itching to explore my new field every day, God was there.
Moving to England to start work with Canvas at this time in history has been challenging. However, even through the challenges, there is a strange sense of comradery that has come with this global outbreak. And there is something comforting about the history of England. This is not the first time this region of the world has seen mass disease and God has seen the world through a pandemic. He withstood. The gospel message continued to be preached. The Holy Spirit guided souls to salvation and those souls are now spending the rest of their days in Glory.
My isolation ended two weeks ago. Meetings with students/alumni have begun and the team has been incredible through this whole process. One student, now an alumnus, proclaimed Jesus as risen Savior and Lord during lockdown here in England, and he and I had lunch as he shared about his journey.
At first, he said, Canvas had provided community for him — a place for him to belong even though, at the time, he did not believe. He slowly started opening up to the staff and they gently pointed him towards Jesus.
When we saw each other again at church, he invited me to sit in his row, socially distant. In that moment, we were both just followers of Christ. He didn’t see me as a campus minister at Canvas, only as a fellow follower of Christ who was new to the church and needed a friendly face. Here was another example of God’s Kingdom flipping the world's expectations on its head. As this transition continues, I wait, expectedly and humbly, to see what God has in store.