By Mommy Emily
I’m driving to my in-laws’ farm. It’s after supper and the gravel roads are empty, just like the churches, just like the schools, just like the stores in nearly every town, every city, every region, and every continent. It’s Spring of 2020 and COVID-19 has taken over the world in what World Health Organization has called a pandemic, and for once it would seem we are completely unified – fighting the same invisible virus.
And for once everyone is being encouraged to sing the doxology – twice – every time they wash their hands, and it would seem a kind of cleansing is happening. Even as we scrub hard to wash away the germs, we sing praises to God. Chasing away the even greater invisible enemy.
Many homes are full of families huddled together – of mothers forced into homeschooling, of fathers forced out of work, of children forced out of community with one another, and yet – we’re clinging. To each other. While sobbing in the bathroom when no one is looking, because our worlds have crumbled in just a month, and all because of something we cannot even see.
I’m crying again now, as I turn into my in-laws’ driveway to go for a ski, because I’ve just realized we have to cancel piano lessons. It was the final thing. And it’s a very small thing but for some reason it seems it was holding me together. The idea that my kids could still go to piano lessons.
Yet even as I strap on my skis and glide across the snow, the sun setting across fields stretched pink and purple, everything calm and the same as it was yesterday, I breathe deep air that is still the Lord’s, in a world that He still reigns.
And even as I don’t know what tomorrow brings, or next week, or next month – I know who holds my life in His hands. And I hear the Spirit whisper, “Incubation.”
It’s a very applicable thought, this Incubation, for in fact it’s why the governments have established two-week Quarantines – for in that latent period of 14 days, exposure to the coronavirus will manifest itself through symptoms in the host.
Yet Incubation can also mean a very hopeful period of development in the dark, before the act of giving birth.
Every spring, we get 50 chicks to raise for meat. Even as I ski, I know the chicks are being incubated somewhere in Canada – that is, a mother hen is sitting on her eggs, keeping them warm, brooding, as embryos form within the shells of the eggs.
It’s the body heat from the hen that provides the constant temperature needed to form life within.
God whispers “Incubation,” and I see the treasures forming in the darkness under the pressure of these current circumstances. Even as the weight of the unknown is a brooding presence pressing down upon us, and we are held up in our homes, like embryos within the shells of our lives, God is stirring. He is forming new life within His people.
And I think of another treasure born out of darkness in Springtime – the darkness of a tomb that held our Savior. At the time, when He died on the cross, it seemed hopeless. The cross was a symbol of shame and humiliation. The invisible enemy of our souls seemed to have won.
But how quickly that cross became a symbol of victory.
And even as the sky above me dims, and I head home across the shifting shadows of night, I know morning will come. The shell of the egg will crack, the stone of the tomb will be rolled away, and out of this darkness will emerge the glorious light of a Church refined, washed, cleansed, and reborn.
(post originally appeared HERE on Christian Courier)
Beloved brothers and sisters — since January, we’ve been feeling the ever-increasing prompting to train up pastors and youth (both male and female) to send out as missionaries across Africa to the most remote of villages (*see video below, in which I share this passion with our national directors).
Needless to say, we did not foresee COVID-19, but our Father did. And only He could foresee the tremendous harvest that would ripen when the entire world was forced to recognize its humanity and its need for a Savior.
And even as we recognize that now is NOT the time to be sending forth missionaries, our national directors and pastors are making preparations. Before missionaries can GO, they must KNOW the truth about the One whom they preach. They must be trained in sound doctrine. God has clearly shown us that this Biblical training isn’t just for pastors, but for the young people — this time of “incubation” is going to produce such a hunger in our youth, and so He is raising up youth to share the Word of God, including our teen mamas.
So many churches, in east Africa especially, have been shut down (6,000 in Rwanda alone) because their pastors didn’t have proper Biblical training or any kind of diploma or certificate. But the Lord in His kindness has provided the perfect curriculum for us through Harvestime Institute, and it is free and ready to be reproduced. Its founders created this curriculum (which is equivalent to a two year Biblical diploma for these village pastors who’ve never had the chance to be educated) for the very purpose of providing protection and training for churches in Africa, where false gospels so easily take root in places where there’s no other training available.
A fire has been lit in the hearts of our pastors to see God’s Word spread FASTER than this virus — will you pray with them towards this end? That the whole world might know that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
In addition to training up pastors and youth in Africa, we would like to invite YOU to train to be a missionary in your OWN backyard. This Harvestime curriculum is completely free (unless you would like to receive a diploma for it). You can either download all of the PDFs for free, and simply study with us, OR you can get a diploma at the end of it. (To do the latter, simply create an account for a mere $5, and then pay $7 for each exam)
Either way, by studying with us, you will be filled with the ANSWER that you need for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15), an answer that this world is CRYING for because of a plague it cannot explain.
The harvest is ripe. Even as we’re shut inside our homes, our minds can be actively feasting on the Word of God, and preparing for when we are able to go out and share the good news!
Even as everything else seems to be shutting down, we are seeing in the spiritual realm the church rising — the church cracking through the darkness of isolation and reaching up for its Savior, new life emerging from the grave, shining bright in the brilliance of a new and refined hope. Hallelujah!