Who could have ever imagined, just a few months ago as 2020 began, that we would be living in a time like this? In such a short space of time, the world has changed dramatically. Perhaps we have never felt so interconnected and united in a common fight against a faceless, race-less, genderless enemy - one that doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, young or old, whether you voted leave or remain, republican or democrat. Suddenly so much of what we have built on seems to have shifted like a rug pulled from under our feet and yet, in the midst of it all, there is beauty and life bursting through the cracks in the concrete.

In Links International we are firmly believing that God will be glorified and that He will turn what was meant for evil, to good. As you can imagine, we are being inundated with requests from our partners around the world, being affected in ways far beyond the inconveniences we are facing in the UK. For our partners, who were already facing extremely difficult circumstances, this virus has compounded and accentuated the struggles they face on a day-to-day basis. In the last week, we have had desperate requests for help to provide food, medical supplies, guidance and support. The vast majority of our partners have income-generating projects and services like schools and nurseries, which provide much-needed income towards their core costs; these have all been placed on hold. Many partners have reported that violence has increased in their communities, as hate crimes are committed against Asian foreigners or stores are looted in desperation for food. Yesterday, partners in Latin America were telling me about people queueing for hours on end, only to access the store and find that it was virtually empty. For most of our partners they couldn’t panic buy, even if they wanted to.

Calling on the World Changers

Now more than ever, we need to be the Church, not only to those in our immediate community but also in this deeply connected global community. You and I are called to be World Changers! Links International has put out a Covid-19 Response Fund Appeal this week so that we can raise funds to respond quickly to the needs coming in. Because of people’s generosity, we have already been able to join with partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America to provide much-needed support in communities where there is little to no official welfare provision. However, there is still so much need and we really need your help.

Please will you join with us to reach out? (https://www.linksinternational.org.uk/appeal/covid-19-appeal)

Alongside practical help and support in the short term here in Links International we are full of hope and expectation, believing that this time will give us even more of an opportunity to lift up the name of Jesus, to be the Church and shine bright and to find even more creative ways to support our partners around the world. Even with massive limitations on travel, we are still supporting our partners overseas with resources and training, going ‘digitally’, even when we aren’t able to go ‘physically’. 

Please help us during this season to confront poverty, to create potential and to connect people with the powerful, saving message of God’s Kingdom breaking out amongst us. May His love and healing be the greatest contagion and may His glory continue to flood the earth.

Let’s keep our eyes focussed upwards towards the God who knows the end from the beginning, and outwards to how we can love those around us like never before.

Love, Links