Global - Mission response to the challenges and changes of 2021

Recently my work team and I went through a listening activity to see how we wanted to get the best out of the continuing lockdown – its stillness, distancing and uncertainties, lack of family – and deepen our own faith in finding ways forward in the coming year. We are living in the low hills in Mindanao, Philippines and working with ecosystem restoration, sustainable land management, and youth leadership. Meanwhile the world lives under the constant threat and loss due to the pandemic, uncertainties of vaccine distribution, and is pulling itself apart politically and economically with growing vulnerability for an increasing poor, while we face an epoch-shift in environmental destruction.

LISTENING to context There were questions asked. How do we understand the world we are living? How do we understand our relations and work? What expressions or concepts do we use to communicate personally where we are? How do we deal with this in our work and how do we live it out in the present time? Perhaps, many of us have found a path through, but not one we are always particularly happy about.

CHANGES analyzed Many in the group shared about the uncertainties in the bigger realities beyond us that affect us. The need for living normally again is strong, but it is a different normal, with the need for grace and acceptance. There is a vacuum and a need to align and adapt to many questions without answers. New paths are needed as we face the challenges and changes of 2021 and the context is not just the virus. There are far greater problems in many parts of the world compounding the uncertain local and global realities. Profit accumulation and poverty, food security, weather extremes, increased arms, ecological destruction and social displacement, among many others. Are we prepared each morning for what is different? Do we see what is different in access to local markets, hospitals, government services and agriculture? Do we see that children are studying less under the modular no-class system? 

But many are also learning greater reflection and comprehension and increased virtual collaboration that affect us on the ground. When children go back to school, there will be different access, information, reflection, comprehension, and hopefully, attitude. All these things are changing. We want to learn about things as they are changing, not simply how we would wish them to be and how they are normalized. Do we let reality change us or do we change reality where we can? This is the whole complexity of our time, but the question of when is now. Read more…