Discipleship in a Pandemic
This year sure has been a tough one, but one of the things that has kept our staff engaged and pushing on towards our mission of making Disciples of Jesus are our core values: Humility. Excellence. Jesus. Commitment. Compassion. Flexibility. Read more to find out how we're continuing to disciple kids and engage their families during the pandemic.
During a year when it’s felt like so many things have been changed, restricted or postponed indefinitely, our staff has been working on fully living out what has been one of our core values since the very beginning: Flexibility.
When we say ‘flexibility’ we do not mean that our staff is attending weekly Yoga Classes (even though that would be incredible!). What flexibility means to us is being mindful of what’s happening around us, deciding on making any necessary changes, adapting and pressing on as a team. Being flexible in what we do is all about being open and honest about what’s difficult and finding ways to keep moving forward.
Nicaraguan culture is one that thrives on being flexible and innovative almost as much it thrives on being in community with one another. It’s a culture that greets you with kisses on the cheek and celebrates everything from scoring a goal or just getting together with hugs and the “Nicaraguan High Five” (a high five followed by a fist bump).
Since the start of our first Discipleship Program in 2013, discipling has been all about doing life with kids and their families, connecting and meeting with them right in their communities. On a typical, non-COVID week, our staff would be high fiving and welcoming anywhere from 20-60 kids on a single day of discipleship, and would frequently make house visits to cultivate relationships with the families of our kids and the community as a whole.
Now, with social distancing and the safety of these families in mind, we have added some practices to our discipleship programs to help keep everyone safe! In pictures, you can see that masks are being worn, temperatures are being taken, and kids are being greeted by a leader and a giant sponge where they can wipe their shoes off before they come in. But many of the things our staff has been doing are happening behind the scenes to make sure that discipleship continues to be a fun, safe, and exciting place to be.
One thing our Discipleship Team did to gauge each family’s comfort level with restarting in-person Discipleship was they created a survey and delivered them to each kid’s home so every family could voice their thoughts and concerns, as well as, learn about the new safety measures we’d be putting in place.
Our team has also gone from hosting one day of Discipleship in each community to doing Discipleship anywhere from 2-4 days in a single community to ensure the number of kids in attendance stays low enough that families feel confident that they will all be safely taken care of.
At SuNica, we’re not just committed to our projects and programs, rather we’re committed to the wellbeing of the people in the communities we work in as a whole. In order to serve our communities well we have to stay connected with the families that live there and be ready to adapt and respond to any challenges that come our way.
The beauty of discipleship when God’s at the center is that it can happen anywhere, any time. Being flexible in the way we continue to pursue our mission of making Disciples of Jesus is how our programs can continue on through a pandemic, through a revolution, and whatever else comes our way.
Written by Megan Dionne