EDITOR’S NOTE: Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Multiplying Churches Director Rick Hedger oversees MBC partnership missions efforts. Below, he answers the question, When can Missouri Baptists safely return to the mission field?
JEFFERSON CITY – I receive frequent inquiries regarding the activity status of our Missouri Baptist Convention international partnerships in regard to COVID-19. As we all know, even from our own ever changing CDC reports, this has been a difficult situation to navigate missionally.
We know the gospel must continue to be advanced, but the ever-changing status of national policies, requirements and boarder closings has made it tricky if not impossible to give an official “all clear” regarding international mobilization.
My advice to each pastor, mission pastor or DOM is simply to be a constant student of the state department updates, as well as our own CDC requirements for international travel. Also, remain in close contact with your partners on the ground regarding local quarantine and vaccination requirements. As you plan your group’s trip, be sure to take into consideration the possibility of infection or changing requirements, and allow extra days on the end of the trip in case quarantines are required for travel.
After recent conversations with our partners within the Puebla-Tlaxcala Baptist Convention, I plan to make an exploratory trip to Mexico in the coming months to discuss with their leadership how we can move forward in our partnership under the new conditions our world finds itself in.
In the meantime, continue to pray for and encourage your international partners. Also, seek God’s face regarding the internationals in need of the gospel who reside in our own communities.