This article originally appeared on Disciples News Service
When Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique and Zimbabwe last month, Rev. Marco Cable, Global Ministries Area Executive for Africa, suddenly found himself inundated with emails, texts, phone calls, and WhatsApp messages. Some came from global partners, while others came from congregations connected to Global Ministries. He has since been working diligently to communicate with partners in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, as well as to share news with the wider Global Ministries constituency.
It’s support like this that remind global partners that they are not alone, particularly in a crisis such as this one. “Most partners have really emphasized that they’re able to respond to the crisis – and to live – because they have support from Global Ministries and related churches in the US and Canada. They feel lifted by prayers and thoughts of concern during this difficult time,” noted Cable.
At Global Ministries, we practice the art of “abiding” every day, except we usually refer to it as “partnership.” Being a good partner is the very heartbeat of Global Ministries, just as love for God and God’s church is the lifeblood. These partnerships are grounded in deep, oftentimes decades-long relationships. “It’s more than just names on the website,” Cable explains. “We are in relationship with people who almost become like members of our own family. When something happens to them, it touches us personally. One partner in eSwatini recently reflected on this and wrote to me saying, ‘You are right about the power of partnership as indeed over the years we have gone past partnership to family status.’”
Abiding doesn’t just start and end with global partners, though. Local congregations are also partners with Global Ministries in participating in God’s mission in the world. In the crisis of Cyclone Idai, for example, “We had an overwhelming response from churches who are very engaged in the world – even in places that are very far away geographically,” shared Rev. Cable. “The first communications I received were from concerned members of churches with historic relationships with partners in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. They all wrote to first inquire about the security and safety of partners in the affected areas, as well as to commit to support recovery efforts.”
We at Global Ministries are grateful for the many ways that you abide with us and with global partners.
*This article was originally posted in relationship to the Disciples Easter Offering, received in many Disciples congregations on April 14 and 22.