A laptop on the dining table and back-to-back Zoom calls!

Beth Buchanan

If global mission is all about gospel proclamation to the nations, how can sitting at a table in a corner of London be helping? We asked Crosslinks staff member Beth Buchanan a few questions to find out more:

1.    Beth, describe your workspace during the last year
I have been working at my dining table since 19 March 2020! I certainly do not miss the commute but I have missed spending time with mission partners as they visit the Crosslinks office whilst on home assignment. 

2.    What does a typical day at the dining table look like?
Near back-to-back Zoom calls, virtual meetings and WhatsApp chats! Internal meetings with staff, conversations with the board of trustees and many chats with mission personnel around the world. In between the calls, it is business as usual with all that is entailed with caring for our 100+ Crosslinks workers on the field. I provide pastoral support for mission partners and help my team to give practical and administrative support to mission partners, short-term volunteers and those who receive Crosslinks bursaries. 

3.    How has the pandemic affected the member care Crosslinks offers?
Well it has put paid to my annual pastoral visits to mission partners. But it has led to more online communication, enabling me to keep in touch with everyone even better. I have regular conversations with personnel on the field and have carried out ministry review meetings remotely. The pandemic has also sped-up the roll-out of our kids programme. We now run monthly Zoom calls for the children of our mission partners, to connect them with one another for encouragement and support. A highlight for the younger ones was show-and-tell when two kittens joined the call! As a spin-off of this, a group of mums have formed a WhatsApp group to share learning and encourage one another in their ministry. 

In the early days of the pandemic, work was fairly unrelenting as we kept up-to-date with swiftly changing situations around the world and helped personnel decide whether they ought to return to the UK. We had three gap year teams in Africa and much work went into getting them back on evacuation flights after all borders were closed to commercial flights. We very sadly took the decision to cancel gap year teams this year but have begun planning for 2022. We have still been able to send individual short termers and our study partner programme has not stopped – we continue to offer funding for new students at bible colleges in under-resourced nations. 

4.    Are there any new opportunities for global gospel mission at this time?
I have been so encouraged by the number of people enquiring about opportunities to take God’s word to God’s world. Interviews and selection panel meetings have gone ahead – via Zoom of course! I am busy preparing for our orientation course which we hope to be able to run in July, preparing new mission partners for overseas service. The current batch of new mission partners are looking to serve in Africa, Asia and Europe in a wide range of ministries. 

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The work of all Crosslinks mission partners is only possible because of the Crosslinks teams here in Britain and Ireland. They are keeping mission partners in the field. Can you make a gift to sustain this vital, enabling work?

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