Christian Ministries, Broadcasters Step Up Despite COVID-19 Challenges

Samaritan's Purse Hospital tents in Central Park in New York CityAs the world continues to wrestle with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, NRB’s members continue to play an important role during this unprecedented time through their relief efforts, their communication and broadcasting, their resources, and their encouragements.

And they do so as demand for their programs and services surges beyond the scale their networks normally handle, and as they are simultaneously adjusting their work environments and policies to ensure the safety and well-being of their staff and volunteers.

“NRB and its members were made for this moment,” said Troy Miller, CEO of NRB. “Broadcasters in radio and television, podcasters, filmmakers, churches, and Christian communicators are offering free services, getting out vital information on social distancing, feeding displaced students and families, and foremost communicating the hope of the Gospel. 

“The Christian community has always been one the first to the frontlines, providing services to alleviate human suffering with relief and care,” he added.

In an effort to help individuals, schools, businesses, nonprofits, churches, and others affected economically by the coronavirus pandemic in America, the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was soon after signed into law by the President.

“The stimulus Act has provided one bright spot in the midst of the shadow being cast over ministries and faith-based organizations that are being economically crippled by COVID-19,” commented Craig Parshall, General Counsel for NRB, which has highlighted the major points of the nearly 900-page legislation.

“We applaud the fact that Congress included nonprofit organizations and churches in the CARES Act,” added Miller. “These organizations are vital to this fight; and it is in the nation’s best interest to ensure they have the support needed to continue providing the invaluable services they offer.”

Among the various organizations working on the frontlines is Samaritan’s Purse, which recently set up an Emergency Field Hospital in East Meadow in Central Park, New York City, to provide care for patients seriously ill with COVID-19. The organization is also providing a large Disaster Assistance Response Team that includes doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel.

“People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed,” reported Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan’s Purse, which is also responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe. “We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden. This is what Samaritan’s Purse does—we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus’ Name. Please pray for our teams and for everyone around the world affected by the virus.”

Somebody Cares America, meanwhile, reported that it is in the process of donating thousands of N95 masks, normally used by the organization for wildfires and relief efforts involving mold from flooding. Recipients include medical relief ministries in Texas and California; various medical practitioners in Texas; a testing clinic in the Houston area; a military base quarantine site; and its Baltimore chapter, which is working alongside the local police department and the National Guard to help with the crisis in their community.

“If we all do what we can, we can make a difference,” said Doug Stringer, Founder and President of Somebody Cares America and Somebody Cares International, in a report. “I encourage you to continue giving to local churches and ministries like ours that are working to serve those in need during this time.”

Also offering their services is Buckner International, whose counseling leaders are providing resources available to support mental health.

Dr. Amy Curtis, Buckner’s Director of Counseling, is creating weekly videos to help provide support and information throughout this season.

Curtis said in the past 2-3 years, anxiety and depression have been on the rise, and she and her team are bracing for the reality that all of that could increase.

“Everyone is so unsure about what it will look like in 30 days, 60 days, six months," she noted in a report. “It’s encouraging we have this video conferencing platform where we can continue to meet the needs of our clients.”

Meanwhile, NRB members such as Trinet Internet Solutions and Cooke Media Group have been offering free webinars to help churches and ministries to adapt in the new environment in which they have found themselves, presenting online strategies to reach congregations and strategies for effective digital fundraising. NRB affiliate Christian Media & Arts Australia, furthermore, hosted a webinar with tech tips for broadcasters trying to stay on-air while socially distant.

“This is not the time to hunker down and pull back,” commented Phil Cooke, Co-Founder & President of Cooke Media Group, in a recent blog post.

“This is the time for the Church to fulfill its mission, and then share the results of that mission with the congregation, donors, and supporters,” he added, noting the importance of not only making a positive impact and changing lives for the better during this time, but also the importance of staying connected to donors and supporters as their finances, capacity, and resources become strained.

“The long-term impact to nonprofits’ bottom-line will affect the capacity of many nonprofits to serve their constituents in the months, and possibly years, to come,” noted the nonprofit alliance America’s Charities.

“Hopefully donors, as they petition the Great Physician for continued health and protection, will also remember to support even more vigorously Christian ministries that continue to labor diligently and fearlessly for the Kingdom during this season of contagion,” added NRB’s Parshall.

Amid these unprecedented times, one piece of encouragement that resounds across the association is this: choosing to live in faith, hope, and love, rather than in fear.

“God’s Word has warned us there would be days of trouble,” reported Jack Munday, International Director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team, which has deployed its crisis-trained chaplains worldwide to minister during this pandemic. “That’s the reason He offers us hope in Him and not in our circumstances. For those that have a relationship with Jesus Christ, they, too, would be the ones that affirm the peace and comfort only He can provide when the world seems to be unraveling at every seam.”

For a list of other encouragements, resources, and reports from members of NRB, click here.

By NRB Staff

Published: April 2, 2020

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