Loving Your Neighbor in the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Loving Your Neighbor in the COVID-19 Pandemic comes at a moment when it is needed to change behaviors and save lives around the world. The COVID-19 manual is produced by Timothy Leadership Training (TLT), a program of Raise Up Global Ministries, for its global ministry partners. It provides basic information about COVID-19 prevention and response, encourages Christians concerning the value of all humankind, and assures them that God's promises are of his love, refuge, and presence. 

It's a short manual: four lessons in fourteen pages. As with other TLT manuals, this one leads participants in Bible study, using questions that are intended to spark discussion and group learning, plus Action Plans for personal application of learning. Pastors, teachers, and missionaries from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Korea are already putting the manual into practice.  

Loving Your Neighbor in the COVID-19 Pandemic originated as a manual for the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014. Revisions were needed for two key reasons: First, COVID-19 differs from Ebola, especially in its means of transmission and in its asymptomatic spread. Second, the Ebola manual encouraged, as do all TLT manuals, that the material be used in small-group settings with interactive group learning. However, the best way to love one's neighbor in the COVID-19 pandemic is often to stay apart! The manual was revised to encourage individual study combined with social media interaction or study by small-groups living under one roof.  

PDF's of the manual were sent via email or WhatsApp to English-speaking TLT coordinators on April 9. French and Spanish editions are set to send the week of April 13. The manual is expected to reach about 100 ministry contacts and coordinators in 30+ countries where TLT is active. Ministry partners include Resonate, World Renew, Back To God and many others. Coordinators and contacts will use the manual as they deem best within their networks.  

Stories of Impact

The day after receiving the manual, a ministry leader from Bangladesh wrote, "The manual is very good and encouraging during this pandemic time and crucial situation everyone is going through. It will be very helpful for all of the TLT participants and others among Church leaders in our network. I can pass it within some Churches nearby and also [in more rural areas]. Church leaders can distribute it so that people can study in family groups."  

Resonate missionary Paul Yu commented: “Korean partners, missionaries, pastors, and professors I shared (with) last night told me that Raise Up is so proactive and helpful in times of need like this in a perfectly timely manner. Two of them already translated it and shared it with others so that each family can study it at their homes!”

The picture above captures Jude facilitating the COVID-19 manual with his family in Uganda. His granddaughter has immediately put into practice what she learned by gathering water each morning for hand washing.

Some groups are translating the manual into their local languages and the study is already posted on Discipling Marketplace Leaders which serves African pastors, churches and denominations. These opportunities make this important resource available to even more people.

If you would like to learn more about the COVID-19 TLT Manual, contact Amy Friedman at [email protected]

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