One of the biggest challenges I have as the global impact director at our church is keeping everyone digitally informed of what our global partners are doing in parts of the world that are hostile to our Christian faith. I would love to tell you more, have you pray more specifically, but I’m constantly telling myself:
- If I were to tell their names, locations and describe things in detail, it would more likely harm than help
- If I put their pictures up here and connected them to our church, assumptions will be made about them by their association with us
- If I give names and photos of the nationals that our global partners are sharing with, it could make them a target for harassment or worse
- If I give their mailing address to send words of encouragement, what incriminating evidence would a well-intentioned letter contain?
- If I use social media for real time updates with identifying photos, it could draw unwanted attention from those planning harm or disruption
This does not apply to all our global partners. Kenya, Guatemala, Swaziland, El Salvador, and all USA locations have no restrictions on our digital communication and sharing of information. But for all the others, we post on our website only the information we believe is safe to be “discovered”. Admittedly, we make mistakes and correct them when we’re made aware. But to my knowledge, no one’s work or security has been compromised by our digital communications. In an increasingly crowded and uncontrolled digital world, it is imperative we do our best to hold in tension the protection and anonymity requested by our global partners while keeping the church informed of their faithful service.
With that background, here are two updates related to partners in these guarded environments:
- We have a team of 7 leaving for India on Friday. Remember to pray for them, as they go to give encouragement and teaching to local leaders who give so much every day. If you would like to help support those going on this trip, you can contribute here.
- John and Ruth are coming to our church this Saturday evening to give us a report on their work in the Balkans. No restrictions in this setting, so you will hear things that are never posted on the web. We are meeting in B102. RSVP here.
As Ryan (based in the Middle East) recently said to me, “I wish you could see it here!” Don’t we all? Until we do, we pray and we trust in our Lord.
Hope to see you Saturday.
Til next week, Dan