I was never much of a runner, some might say I lacked certain skills proven to be of great importance to successful runners, namely speed, endurance and good knees. However, there are certain races that I enjoy watching, mainly relay races. I’m amazed by the timing required to exchange the baton perfectly, you can’t run too fast or you’ll out run your teammate & you can’t run too slow or you’ll likely get run over and all this must be accomplished within a short amount of space. The entire team trains and practices equally, but the event is run by one runner at a time, with this crucial baton exchange ultimately determining the outcome of the race. The perfect balance of simultaneous acceleration and deceleration, all the while maintaining a steadfast reliable point of exchange to move the baton from one runner to the next.
After nearly 10 years of direct involvement in the lives of thousands of men, women and children in the Dominican Republic, Project Manana is actively answering a variety of significant questions. How do we transition a largely personalized ministry into a socially distanced ministry? How do we respect the requests of our governmental authorities without sacrificing capacity to meet peoples needs and share the Gospel? What changes may need to be made in both the short term and long term in how we fulfill our mission. These questions, and many more, all deal with a similar theme, handing off the baton from the organization we were before Covid-19 to the organization we need to become for the foreseeable future.
We are patiently trusting in Gods timing and actively pursuing ministry opportunities that have a direct and meaningful impact in the lives of the people we are called to serve. We are quarantined but not alone, concerned for the communities we serve but confident in our God and limited in our human ability but empowered by the Holy Spirit.
You see, stopping the work God has called each of us to is not an option!
The passing of the “baton” throughout history has not always taken place during times of certainty, quite the opposite is true. You might even say there are no times of certainty, just varying degrees of uncertainty, but that’s a blog for another day. However, I am certain of this, during these unprecedented (in my lifetime) times of uncertainty, God is calling His people to action. My race is not the same as your race, but there will likely be similarities. There will be times of training, times of frustration, times of disappointment, times of wanting to quit, but along with this there will be strengthening of faith, increased confidence in God, and a certainty of purpose that only comes from a personal relationship with Jesus.
Fortunately for us, God has provided His Word – the Bible. The Bible is filled with example after example of Godly men and women who faithfully ran their race, passing the “baton” of the good news of Jesus from one generation to the next. Moses passed the baton to Joshua, Abraham passed it to his decedents, even Jesus passed it to His disciples and so on and so on throughout the centuries for literally thousands of years – all the way to today.
The entire world is racing to develop preventative measures, antibody testing and vaccinations in order to provide billions of people immunity to Covid-19 and return some level of certainty to everyday life. As followers of Jesus, we know that He provided the ultimate immunity through His death, burial and resurrection – an immunity to an eternity separated from God.
In these extraordinary times, we can either exchange love or fear? I pray that we embrace our opportunity to live out the peace that passes understanding and share the love of Jesus with a world that is searching high and low for certainty in their futures. I believe God is ordaining moments of interaction with people who are reaching out their hand, for something, for anything, and we have the privilege of passing the baton. Even in this time of transitioning ministry there are immovable truths, there are always those that need to experience the love of Jesus and there are always those called to share the love of Jesus.