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Faith that Pivots

August 19, 2020

World Renew

The word “pivot” is not one I often used or heard in conversation before mid-March. Now it seems we’re all pivoting one way or another at a dizzying rate.

In less than six months, COVID-19 spread into every facet of our lives. We guard our health and our vulnerable loved ones; our work lives and income shifted or ended; gathering to encourage each other, or even hug, is risky.

Some of these changes involve heart-wrenching losses but also unexpected gains. We could all use some encouragement.

Johnson Gakumba, a bishop in the Church of Uganda, recently spoke these words of encouragement to his congregation. They are words of resilience and hope for us, too.

“Many communities in our area have still little capacity to cope [with COVID-19]. People who live in hot spots are locked down by government order, only able to get food at the market on one day every week or two. Some have lost income to buy basic necessities altogether because they have no work. The emotional toll is an increased incidence of domestic violence and suicide. It is overwhelming for the church to address the need for counseling for all those who need it.

“The centrality of the gospel of Christ is crucial at such times. The Bible tells us of God’s faithfulness to his people who are ready to reconcile with him. This gives us courage, hope, and love — expressed through “acts of love,” sharing our resources with the most vulnerable people in our communities. Church members and groups are also mobilizing their resources to help with pastors’ salaries as well. These are God’s provision even amidst these challenging economic times.

“Amazingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has widened the scope of outreach ministries beyond the walls of the church building. In Northern Uganda Diocese, we are reaching members and non-church goers alike through local FM radio broadcasts. This effort makes use of the most available and accessible means of reaching the wider community, including those in the most rural areas of the country. “Indeed, some families have even benefited from the lockdown, connecting with their children in new ways. There has been a lot of growth among parents in appreciating what opportunities and challenges young adults are experiencing. Families are realizing that life’s challenges can become opportunities for living positively and building resilience to face future hardships.”

What about you? How are you pivoting to address the challenges and opportunities imposed on you by the COVID-19 outbreak? In faith, we pivot toward God for resilience, hope, and love. “Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).