- Baptist Press - https://www.baptistpress.com -

Worldwide missions persists amid pandemic

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RICHMOND, Va. (BP) – The International Mission Board (IMB) started off 2020 with a historic announcement [2]: the joining of Southern Baptists’ national and international compassions ministries under one umbrella: Send Relief.

Weeks later, the need for such ministries would skyrocket with the arrival of the novel coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic was a worldwide event, and missions personnel scrambled to continue their work amid tight restrictions in many places. Some baptized in bathtubs [3]. Some engaged neighbors [4] in a new way.

The IMB organized a task force [5] to address the impact of the coronavirus on missionaries as well as churches planning trips. The task force would later recommend postponing travel [6]. The IMB pulled many missionaries home to the U.S.; at year’s end, many still remained stateside, though plans to return to the field were underway.

An initial shortfall of $4 million led to spending cuts and a hiring freeze at the International Mission Board [7]. In September IMB trustees ultimately approved [8] a 2020-21 budget at 4.5% less than 2019-20.

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To see the IMB’s year in review, click here [10].