International Mission Board senior leaders are urging Southern Baptists to use extreme caution if they are considering overseas missions travel for the remainder of 2020. As many countries continue to require quarantines or have not yet opened their borders, travelers could face unexpected circumstances, including quarantines upon reentering the U.S. The future threat and spread of COVID-19 also remains an unknown factor.
IMB personnel on the field are continually monitoring their local situations and governments’ restrictions. Many missionaries will not be able to host groups for the foreseeable future due to government-imposed travel bans and other factors related to the pandemic. Churches with long-standing partnerships and plans to travel soon should remain in close contact with their field contact for guidance. They should also continue to check travel restrictions and U.S. reentry guidelines, which could change day to day.
While also deeply affected by COVID-19 and government regulations, missionaries have had new gospel opportunities, and Southern Baptist relief work related to the coronavirus has been significant. Send Relief reports more than 300 projects in progress or completed in 78 countries. These efforts are projected to help more than 900,000 people worldwide and have provided food packages, personal protection equipment, hand-washing stations, sanitation supplies and education materials.