Mission Report December 2020 – Merry Christmas from Delron & Peggy Shirley
The year of 2020 has certainly been an unusual time for all of us. The pandemic shutdowns and travel restrictions made the year look totally different from what we had expected. When Delron retired from his position as director of the missions department at Charis Bible College, we planned to dedicate all our free time to our mission work and set up a very intensive schedule of international trips for the year. And then came COVID – making us have to cancel seven trips. We did get to make three trips before the travel bans were imposed. In fact, Delron barely made it home from Africa the day before all flights were canceled!
Of course, we were able to continue some of the ministry through ZOOM conferences. At first, it might seem that this approach still fulfills our ministry goal of teaching pastors and leaders around the world. In fact, we heard one mission leader say that the pandemic has actually changed his whole approach to missions in that he realizes that he can stay home and continue to reach the world through the internet; however, our experience is much different. When Jesus commanded the apostles go teach the nations, He used a term that actually means disciple – a process that involves personal contact. In fact, Mark 3:14 defined His relationship with the original twelve as calling them to “be with Him” and Acts 4:13 described the proof of their apostleship by the fact that it was evident “that they had been with Jesus.” The same principle is true with our ministry – we feel that the interpersonal relationships we develop with the people we train is as vital a part of our ministry as the actual teaching.
One example is the young man in the rehab center in Colombia where Delron ministered this February. When Delron offered to pray with him, the young man fell into Delron’s arms and wept for ten to fifteen minutes as the Lord healed him of many emotional scars. You can also see compassion in the interaction as Peggy ministered to the children in a school in the Dominican Republic this January and how the local children flocked around Delron during each break between the sessions of pastors’ conference he was leading in their village in a remote region of Liberia this March.
We were able to minister around the world by helping with over twenty thousand dollars of fund relief efforts for those who were affected by the shutdowns in twelve nations. We also used our free time to do a lot of writing. Peggy published her second book, and Delron completed seven new manuscripts.
Our prayer this Christmas is that we will soon be able to return to our normal lives and that, even during this holiday season, all of us will be able to have deep and meaningful relationships with family and all those we love.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.