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TMS Global's response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the world in a way that we have not experienced for several generations. As a mission agency with people serving around the world, TMS Global is facing the challenges of responding to the rapidly changing situation, not just within the United States, but in multiple countries. There are several specific ways that we are caring for our cross-cultural workers and working to represent the presence of Christ in difficult circumstances.

1. How is TMS Global caring for cross-cultural workers during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Crisis Response Team – In March, TMS Global formed a Crisis Response Team to assess the situation related to COVID-19 globally and to put the pieces and people in place to respond as things intensified. We established a dedicated channel on the TMS Global internal communication platform to disseminate and collect information from our workers around the world.

Care Response Team – TMS Global formed a separate team to focus on the unique care needs that we knew would be present throughout this crisis. In addition to our director of member care, we have brought internal and external resources to provide counseling, pastoral care, and spiritual direction. Our Third Culture Kids ministry is encouraging families, connecting with children and teens, and providing resources to the many families who are on lockdown. A team of people, including staff and cross-cultural workers, is ensuring that each person within the TMS Global community gets at least one check-in call each week.

Counsel – In any crisis, we deal with the question of whether workers should return to their passport country or stay in their place of service. TMS Global leadership makes this decision in prayer and dialogue with the impacted workers and international partners. During the COVID-19 crisis, most of our people have decided to stay. They did not see significant safety benefits for their family by returning to the US, itself not a simple feat. They also saw staying as an opportunity to be in solidarity with the people they love and serve.

2. Is the TMS Global office open during this time?
We closed the TMS Global office in Norcross, Georgia on March 13, and all support staff are currently working from home. Our team continues to provide all of the support services to our global community. We use a communication platform which has enabled us to hold meetings and collaborate remotely. Our tradition of spending time each morning as a staff to pray for our global workers has continued without interruption.

3. What is the situation of your cross-cultural workers?
Recognizing that this is new, uncharted territory, we have made it clear to our global workers that we do not expect “ministry as usual” to continue at this time. Their first priority is care for themselves, their family, and their team. From a ministry perspective, our stated expectation is for them to represent the presence of Christ in the midst of a very difficult time. After all, we believe this is what missions is all about even in the best of times.

4. How is TMS Global assisting local churches during this time?
Even as TMS Global manages our crisis response and provides care and support to our global community, we also are asking how the resources we have can have a positive impact locally. Our church mobilization team is considering tools they can provide local churches to help them navigate these uncertain times. What does “a church on mission” look like during a pandemic? For churches needing resources or advice in how to care for people they support, we want to provide assistance. You can find resources on virtual mission experiences here.

In addition, our individual mobilizers are offering support and a listening ear to the many people with whom they have been building relationships.

5. How can I help?
Our workers count on the ongoing love, encouragement, and generosity of those who have been part of their ministry. This is a frightening time for all of us, and it is certainly a time of uncertainty for those living far from their homeland. But knowing that their support team is firmly standing with them helps people persevere and find ways to share Christ. An encouraging note, assurance of ongoing support, and a willingness to fervently intercede for them all go a long way toward helping them through this period.

You can also make a donation to help the most vulnerable during this pandemic. Our cross-cultural workers are delivering food and basic necessities to their neighbors. A donation of any amount will help feed people who are under lockdown and are not able to earn money to feed their families. 

You can read stories of how our cross-cultural workers are reaching out to their communities during this time on our Stories & Updates page.

We will continue to ask how we can stand in the gap for our nation and our world at this critical moment in history. We thank you for partnering with us as, together, we join Jesus in His mission in the midst of crisis.