International — Advent is a time of expectant waiting to celebrate Christ’s birth, and ultimately for His return. In the pandemic, we’ve done a lot of waiting. Families have postponed gathering. Many employees are still remote. And new COVID-19 variants like Omicron force ministries to hold plans loosely for travel and projects.
As we reflect on waiting in the Advent season, Ed Weaver with Spoken Worldwide says a posture of faithful waiting before the Lord is a good thing, even if it’s hard.
“This is the posture the Lord wants us to have anyway on a daily basis. And the good that’s coming out of the pandemic is just feeling like we’re in a crucible [and] that there is a purpose in mind by God Almighty to teach us things that we should have been doing all along and that is being helpless before Him, but being hopeful in how He’s going to deliver.”
Spoken Worldwide provides Scripture access to oral learners around the world. Restricted travel because of COVID-19 means Spoken Worldwide has had to change plans many times.
Weaver says, “We’re trying to launch 20 new language projects in the next two and a half years from this point. We’re struggling at some level to say, ‘How in the world are we going to launch 20 new oral Bible translation projects in two and a half years when we’re not sure which countries we can get into? How to develop the right skill sets amongst translators?’ It just seems to be overwhelming.”
But because they work mostly with indigenous partners in other countries, God is opening doors.
Weaver says, “We’ve been able to launch some of our programs virtually. We can actually do training from here in the United States to wherever they are and allow them then to go forth into their particularly more rural regions and do work with oral learners. We don’t always have to be present.”
So how do we “wait well” during Advent? Whether it’s waiting for open ministry doors, waiting for family to safely gather, waiting to travel somewhere, or waiting for God to move?
“Particularly, as we think about the Advent season, it’s all based on hope,” says Weaver. “So I think one of the things that all of us that believe and have confidence in is that there is a future hope, which also means that there’s a present hope. Which means that we truly can pray and say, ‘Lord, whatever ways I’m exhibiting unbelief right now, help my unbelief. Give us wisdom and insight how to navigate in a place that we don’t even know how to do this.'”
Pray for God’s peace in waiting this Advent season.
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Header photo courtesy of Max Beck via Unsplash.