On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. Since its outbreak in January in Wuhan, China, the world has increasingly been gripped by fear as the virus spreads. Normal life and societies in many places have been disrupted. Businesses, schools, and industries have been affected. Countries are on lock down and large populations are under quarantine in an effort to contain the spread of this virus. This is a global challenge.
The Lausanne Movement expresses its deep concern and sympathy for all who are affected, especially to those in parts of the world where this challenge is being most acutely felt. We express our deep regret at the fatalities that have occurred. As this novel virus spreads, we urge everyone to give attention to the health and travel advisories issued by local authorities. We urge everyone to show care and regard for one another by looking out for each other, especially for the elderly and the most vulnerable in the community.
If ever there was a time for prayers and supplications, this is such a time. Let us join together in united prayer as we pray for:
- Governments and local authorities who bear large responsibilities in confronting this challenge
- WHO and all health professionals who are working to safeguard public health
- Industry leaders and workers in global workplaces that are taking precautions and making decisions to confront this challenge
- Pastors, church leaders, and leaders of the community who provide care and guidance for those they lead
As a global family, this is a time to let the light of Christ shine his healing rays throughout the world. May the Lord, our Chief Shepherd and our Refuge, grant mercy and grace upon the nations of the world in this time of trouble and distress.
‘Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armour and protection.’ Psalm 91:1-4, NLT
on behalf of the Board of Directors for the Lausanne Movement: Glenn Davies, Michael Oh, Grace Samson-Song, Jerry White, Sarah Breuel, Richard Coleman, Joni Eareckson Tada, Patrick Fung, Tom Lin, Finny Philip and Philip Ryken
Below we have compiled a list of resources based on contributions from Lausanne leaders around the world. We hope this list will be helpful to you as you’re leading and discerning amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Articles published by/about Lausanne leaders
- Joni Eareckson Tada (US), ‘A Calming Word during the Coronavirus’, Joni and Friends
- Pablo Martinez (Spain), ‘A Psalm in the Epidemic: Trust Overcomes Fear’, Evangelical Focus
- Ed Stetzer (US): ‘Christians, This Is Our Moment: A Call to Clarity and Mission’, Christianity Today
- René Breuel (Italy): ‘The Coronavirus and the Ministry of Touch’, Evangelical Focus
- Sadiri Joy Tira (Canada): ‘Global Family and the Coronavirus’, Christianity Today
- Patrick Fung (Hong Kong / China): ‘Coronavirus Outbreak: Four Ways to Pray’, OMF International
- Leonardo De Chirico (Italy): ‘Italy in Lock Down; Country Open to Conversations on Faith “Like Never Before”, Claims Christian Leader’, Premier Christian News
- Ed Brown (US), ‘God Is Our Refuge: Thoughts on COVID-19’, The Pollinator: Creation Care Network News
Recommended by Lausanne leaders
- Coronavirus and the Church (website)
- Coronavirus Resources for the Church (website), Wheaton College
- ‘Ministering Digitally through COVID-19’ (video), InterVarsity
- ‘Fears, Hearts and Clean Hands’ (article), Leighton Ford Ministries
- ‘God, Germs and Global Missions: Ministering Effectively in the Face of a Pandemic’ (webinar), sixteen:fifteen Church Missions Coaching
- Where Is God in a Coronavirus World? (book), John Lennox
- ‘Coronavirus Pandemic: Special Briefing‘ (pdf), International Prayer Connections
Webinar Recording: COVID-19 and the Majority World
The Lausanne/WEA Network known as Health for All Nations hosted ‘COVID-19 and the Majority World’, a 90-minute webinar on Friday April 17 2020. The recording of this webinar as well as the presentation slides have been made available here.
Recording of Lausanne Leadership Call about the COVID-19 Pandemic
On Tuesday 24 March, a number of current leaders of the Lausanne Movement were convened for a video conference call to share updates about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts in a variety of regions and across a number of sectors, with particular reference to how the church can respond, in preparation for small group prayer.
Afterward, several of the people on the call shared what a profound time of encouragement it was, and requested the opportunity to share the recording with others. So although this was not planned to be made public, we are now sharing the recording with you.
We pray that these brief reports, insights, and prayers from our Lausanne family across the globe will bring encouragement and hope to you as well, and may stimulate prayer in your own circles.
Menchit Wong (Philippines) serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Lausanne Movement. She is the Director of Leadership Engagement for Compassion International and also serves with the Lausanne Children-at-Risk Network, the Global Children’s Forum, and ISACC (Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture).