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Response to Covid-19

This is an unprecedented time in our nation and in our world. As we watch COVID-19 invading countries, states and families across the globe, our hearts ache for the growing numbers of those affected by this pandemic. We join with the rest of the world in our desire to take the necessary steps to see this pandemic brought under control. Therefore, amid the COVID-19 crisis, Ethnos360 has been following and continues to follow the guidelines set forth by local, state, federal and international authorities.

  • At the Home Office in Florida, we are currently under a “stay-at-home” order from Governor Ron DeSantis. Accordingly, we have instructed home office staff to work from home unless performing an essential duty as defined by the governor’s orders. We are working to continue normal business processes, but since most of our people are working remotely, you may experience some delays. We are endeavoring to keep the delays to a minimum. All scheduled conferences or forums have been cancelled or are being held online.
  • Both Ethnos360 Bible Institute campuses moved classes to online only as of March 16, 2020. You may find more detailed information at https://e360bible.org/covid-19/.
  • Our overseas members are coordinating with their local leadership teams regarding appropriate measures in responding to COVID-19 in their specific areas.
  • Likewise, Ethnos360 Aviation continues to follow the guidelines set forth by local, state, federal and international authorities. More details are available at http://ethnos360aviation.org/covid-19.
  • Our International Security Resource Team is monitoring the situation in each country where we work and advising as necessary.

Our policies will be regularly evaluated, updated and communicated as needed to reflect the fluid situation here in the USA as well as in the countries where we have missionaries working.

We appreciate your prayers for the many decisions being made regarding ministry and travel, and, as always, we covet your prayers for the safety of the people with whom we minister and of our members.

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 certainly has put a deeper meaning behind “We’re in this together.” COVID-19 has touched each one of us in some way, forcing us to make changes in how we go about life. Our hearts are heavy as we see and hear the reports of the impact this virus is having on many dear families, and Ethnos360 expresses our deepest sympathy for families losing loved ones.

While COVID-19 is unprecedented in its impact on the whole world, serving in unsettling contexts is not new for Ethnos360. Since the inception of our organization, Ethnos360 has trusted God to give grace and courage to minister in areas where many of the unreached people live. We don’t do that haphazardly for ourselves or for them, but we constantly assess the context, depending on God to walk in wisdom and knowledge for sustainable ministry to take place. Below are questions that many of you have asked, and we want to do our best to keep you informed. We have an excellent team who is monitoring this situation and guiding us to make the necessary adjustments day to day.

Questions:

  1. How is COVID-19 impacting Ethnos360? Our overseas travel has been put on hold as directed by authorities. Digital technology has allowed us to carry on many of our essential functions. As of March 16, 2020, at our Ethnos360 Bible Institute campuses, all students have transitioned to online education for the remainder of the semester. The Missionary Training Center has also terminated classroom teaching and is complying with the local government’s mandates and instruction regarding COVID-19. Those who could leave have done so while others are remaining but practicing social distancing. They are also taking classes through the internet. We’re able to stay connected to all our US centers and carry on with administrative duties such as processing funds for missionaries and payroll. We have an experienced crisis management team constantly monitoring and advising our leadership teams daily. While our usual ministry involves significant interaction with people, we have been encouraged with what we have been able to do to keep things moving forward with the technology available to us.
  2. How is COVID-19 impacting missionaries’ ability to serve?All missionaries are complying with governments regarding travel and social distancing. All normal church or teaching gatherings have been reduced to whatever the government is recommending. This has certainly limited consultants’ ability to travel in and out to help. However, with the use of phones and technology, we’ve been encouraged to see what connections can be maintained and what progress can be made in translation and lesson development. Very few missionaries have come home solely because of COVID-19. Those more susceptible to the effects of the virus due to age or health have been asked to return to the USA. Others due to come back in May or June have decided to return while they still can. A few families found it challenging to return because of so many cancelled flights, but the Lord intervened for them. It was so encouraging to see the global body of Christ rally around them to help however they could.
  3. Is there training still going on? All training is now being done via the internet. We continue to receive applications for the new semester starting in August, and we anticipate a great student body returning to our schools then.
  4. Are we still sending missionaries overseas? With many restrictions on international travel, we are encouraging new missionaries to wait until the situation stabilizes and counties open for travel and acceptance of foreigners. All missionaries are encouraged to stay engaged with our personnel department, their sending churches and the fields.
  5. What is the financial impact that COVID-19 is having on Ethnos360? There is no doubt of the sudden shock of COVID-19 on the economy. Our hearts go out to those who have been sent home without work, concerned about how they are going to make the next rent payment. While there are many predictions on how and when we will recover from the impact of this pandemic, our hope and trust is in the Lord. During the 2008 recession while we had a decline of nearly 25 percent in contributions for our operations, it was very encouraging to see that partners were committed and concerned for individual missionary’s support. We have received some calls from donor partners who need time to see how things are going to settle out and need to temporarily suspend support. During the 2008 recession, we routinely assessed the budget and made cuts where we could, and we anticipate having to exercise this discipline again where needed. Our prayers are that this will not have an impact on our missionaries in a way that we begin to see attrition because of lack of finances.
  6. Is there anything I can do to help? As believers, we are in the best position to go through this pandemic. The promises of God and His sustaining grace along with the precious body of Christ functioning to care for one another gives us great hope. As we pray for you, please pray for us that God will be magnified during this very difficult time for many people. If you or your church are personally connected with an Ethnos360 missionary, we encourage you to reach out to them to see how they are doing. We believe that connection will be a mutual blessing.

About Brazil and the News Reports

Are you listening to the news these days? If you are like the rest of us, you are also trying to figure out what is true and what is not.

Besides the news of COVID-19, you might have also seen news about missions in Brazil, specifically our ministry partner organization Missão Novas Tribos do Brasil (MNTB) that owns and operates the helicopter that Ethnos360 Aviation just sent to them.

In an effort to bring truth amid the erroneous news, MNTB has released statements to clarify some of the details of misinformation disseminated in recent news articles. Most of the accusations against them involve one people group located on a huge reservation. We have been given permission to release the following general statement. If you have further questions, please contact us at information.request@ntm.org.

From MNTB:

Following a directive from MNTB on March 20, all mission personnel were evacuated from the locations where they work among indigenous people. These are not new locations, and our personnel were there at the request and permission of the villages involved. MNTB missionaries were not using the helicopter to contact any untouched people groups.

The evacuation of mission personnel occurred before the pandemic had reached any location where they worked. Therefore, the missionaries did not pose a risk of spreading COVID-19 to the indigenous population.

After the evacuation flights to bring out all personnel, the helicopter did not enter again into any villages.

Photos accompanying recent articles are used out of context and do not accurately represent the situation at hand.

For more detailed answers provided by MNTB, see the Q&A.