The content of our last IMPACT magazine that reached you just after Easter was created in the earliest days of the global coronavirus pandemic. We moved quickly during that time to stabilize the team, ensuring that everyone was emotionally okay and had everything they needed to work remotely. Soon we moved into a rhythm of work that allowed us to focus on the important strategic initiatives to move the ministry forward, specifically the curriculum enhancement and the Haggai Digital Learning Platform.

In mid-April, God impressed upon my heart some words to carry us through this crisis, to give us hope, and to set our trajectory in the days ahead to ensure that we stay on mission and continue to be as effective as possible in accomplishing our vision of seeing every nation redeemed and transformed through the Gospel. I realized we don’t just want to “survive,” but we want to thrive and seize every opportunity offered by this crisis to exponentially expand our equipping of leaders who will take the Gospel to their nations. I have come to understand over the last weeks that these words apply both at the individual level, as well as to the entire ministry as an organization. Thus, we are engaging in all of the actions implied by these words, with God’s guidance, and we are seeking His wisdom as we cast vision for today, tomorrow, and the days and months ahead.

Endurance: This is best understood through Hebrews 12:1-3. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Agility: The ability to move quickly and easily; to respond rapidly and adapt quickly to a sudden change or opportunity, while maintaining the stable operating principles that anchor us.

Imagination (and re-imagination): The ability to reframe and think differently about the situation, problem, or opportunity at hand to enable action that is different from what is currently being done, for the purpose of increasing our effectiveness in accomplishing our mission and vision.

Risk-Taking (and boldness): Risk-taking is required in situations of high uncertainty, when there are few “sure” paths forward with predictable results. You simply have to try things, see what works and what doesn’t work, course correct, and try again. Fortunately, this is built into the DNA of Haggai International and is best understood through Dr. Haggai’s challenge, “Attempt something so great for God that it is doomed to failure unless God is in it.”

Grace: We must extend grace as we act and engage with each other in these difficult and rapidly changing circumstances. In fact, an extra measure of patience, tolerance, understanding, and encouragement is required to maintain the unity of purpose we share.

As difficult as we have all found this pandemic, it is causing us to focus our thinking on how we thrive in the “next normal” created by this event. Huge opportunities are occurring for our Haggai leaders to demonstrate and present the Gospel, and it has catalyzed creative thinking about how we as a ministry can expand the scope of what we are doing as a ministry, equipping even more leaders than we ever thought possible!

This model, more than ever before, is right on target to meet the needs of people across the globe, to show the love of Jesus, and to share the Good News of the Gospel with those who are living without some of the basic needs of life, and living without the only One who can give them hope.

For the Gospel,

Dr. Bev Upton Williams