Susan Barrett reflects on the third theme of Prayer and Self-Denial 2020: ‘The Perfect Picture’. Susan served with Tranzsend in South Asia and is a current member of Mission Council.

The last few months have been both a whirlwind of chaos and a haven of quiet all at once—sometimes in the same day or even in the same hour. I, for one, have swung between enjoying the silence and sunshine in my house, to madly waving at any human being who is not my flatmate.

In the midst of these extremes, NZBMS has had some big decisions to make. While many of us have been struggling to adjust to a new normal, those we have sent to represent us in some of the most vulnerable neighbourhoods on the planet have wrestled with a huge question: “Should we stay and walk through this with our friends, taking considerable risk in doing so, or should we return to New Zealand?” Answering this question is even harder knowing that poverty is set to increase at alarming rates.

Prayer and Self-Denial is a way to enter the tapestry God is weaving, and, whether we stay or go, we are still invited into it. There is no doubt this crisis affects us all in significant ways. But, unsurprisingly, the people who have most often modelled hospitality to me are those who I often thought had the least.

As we wrestle with the challenges of our new day-to-day, who do you see as being most vulnerable? Now is the time to prioritise generosity to the majority world. As you pray, what is God saying? We invite you into this question alongside our friends who have come home, and those who have stayed, and encourage you that it is possible for vulnerability and generosity to co-exist.

Contributor: Susan Barrett