(BNC) — Christians hold dear the promise from God that he will produce good from every situation of life, including the most difficult and painful ones. The apostle Paul expressed it this way, “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” Romans 8.28.
Only eternity will reveal all the good that God does at every point along our lives. But the recent quarantine imposed by many governments around the world has already produced some identifiable blessings.
Jan Towell works with teachers of the World English Institute, who teach English using the Bible. She noted that 50% more teachers have signed up to help out in this effort than before the lockdown, since people are more confined to home. This work always needs more teachers, and more so now than ever, since student requests have also increased, by 25%
The phrase in the headline above came from Jan’s daily email last night.
At any given time, over 200 students wait daily for a teacher on the WEI Student Board. So Lee Allen, Director of Development and Teacher Support, took advantage to make this appeal to BNC readers:
Due to the fact that many of us are confined at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this would be an ideal opportunity to share your faith and the Bible with individuals from any country of the world, in the comfort and privacy of your own home. You can be an active participant daily in fulfilling The Great Commission of our Lord. It’s so easy! It takes less than ten minutes to grade and process a student’s lesson. Please help someone special read and study the Bible for the very first time. Register today to become a teacher and use this extra time to serve the Lord in the most meaningful of ways. Please allow our awesome God to speak through you and the power of his WORD to help change hearts and lives of precious souls. To register as a teacher, go to this link.
Another good effect of the lockdown is that teachers have turned more using video and audio through the internet in order to reach others.
Brethren who are limited in their movements have a good number of options via the internet for learning and edification. Teachers and evangelists have used both recorded and live video to reach those they formerly taught in person and, still further, new listeners of the gospel message. Some have even begun daily video messages to shore up the faith of those who are not able to meet in person.
People who have never recorded video are learning the ropes, such as Valdir Silva of the Pimentas congregation in Guarulhos. Valdir posts his messages to Youtube, one of many options.
Rafael Nardi of São Paulo uses his expertise with Zoom to serve three congregations in the northern zone of the city, as he works with others to schedule speakers on Sundays and Wednesday evenings.
The author has taught via live video groups, using BigBlueButton, an open-source educational software, for congregations in the capital of São Paulo, as well as his own online classes that have brought people from a good number of states. He is also scheduled to speak to a congregation in Australia Apr. 26.
Such activity shows that the work of evangelism still continues. Baptisms have been reported in a number of locations during the lockdown.
Still yet another good effect of the lockdown is a greater use of homes for the Kingdom of God, since homes are not as restricted by governments as are religious buildings.
In São José dos Campos, Brazil, the house church in Urbanova still continues to meet, but divided up the saints into three groups, so that meetings were held in three different houses in the city and in the neighboring city of Jacareí, where they hope to eventually begin permanent meetings. This way, the numbers in the meetings do not reach or exceed 10 people. It has also had the good effect of giving the men even more experience than normal in directing the acts of worship.
This experience has pointed up yet another advantage of house churches. They are often able to fly under the radar of government officials and are flexible as needs and problems arise, thereby able to continue the work of Christ unimpeded.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He sometimes writes “7 Points.” http://randal.us