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Window to Window

“The world is turning upside down.” Emerson Cardoso serves as president of the MB conference in Brazil and chair of the International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB). In both capacities, he is seeing an astounding degree of change during this season of global pandemic.

“Everything is changing,” he said to those attending a recent Multiply video call. “But God does not change, and the mission is the same.”

Emerson went on to describe some of the new mission strategies emerging from the global church. “In South Africa, there is one pastor who used to visit many villages, but now they are in lockdown.” Preaching online was not an option, Emerson explained, because these villages had no electricity, much less internet. “But God has given him a strategy that is working even better!”

The pastor, who because of the COVID-19 threat can no longer enter the villages, stands as close as he is allowed and shouts a Bible story to those in the nearest hut. “He tells them, ‘Share this story with your neighbor!’” said Emerson. “Then the people in that hut stand in the window and shout the story to the next hut.”

“The Gospel is being shared - from window to window, village to village - by people who have only just heard it for the first time!” 

Emerson went on to share another story, this time from northern Uruguay. “One pastor planted seventeen village churches and would preach in the center of each one.” With the pandemic restrictions, this has not been possible. “Now, he records a short sermon on a mobile app, and sends cell phones to be shared with the families in each village. The Word of God is being heard in this way by over twenty thousand people every week!” 

What does Emerson have to say to the Western Church about living on mission in times of crisis?

“Remember that your church is not an organization,” he said. “It is a living organism! We live, and move, and have a purpose. Those Christians who suffer and are persecuted understand this. The worst thing is not that people die; it is that they die without Jesus!”

“God has prepared the Church for this time; he is waking her up. He is adorning his bride. At the end of this pandemic we will see her, ready for the groom’s return!” 

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