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March 17, 2020

A Letter from Christian Union Founder & CEO Matt Bennett

Dear Friends and Ministry Partners,

The past few days, as COVID-19 has literally changed the world before our eyes, I have experienced a range of emotions and am grieved by all who are suffering as a result of the spread of the pandemic. Yet even in the midst of the uncertainty facing our nation and world, I have a profound and complete trust in our almighty God and in our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 12:25 reminds us that "anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." 

I am thankful for the deep, rich resources God has given us to help us deal with fear and anxiety. I am grateful that the Holy Spirit Himself comforts the hearts of those who seek Him. I'm thankful that Jesus challenged all of His followers, who might be tempted to be anxious, to consider how much God cares for us, and how important our faith is, in the face of difficulty (Matthew 6). I appreciate Jesus' encouragement — the night before He was to be crucified — to not let our hearts be troubled, even in the face of a trial (John 14). Isaiah 26:3-4 reminds us that, "You [God] keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because He trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD God is an everlasting rock." 

Each of these passages contains good words, and I'd encourage you to meditate on these and similar passages in the coming weeks.

As you probably know, each of the universities where Christian Union has established ministries has taken extraordinary steps in the last two weeks to try to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. They have closed their campuses and sent their students home to continue their studies online. Other universities across America have followed suit. Companies and nonprofit organizations are also shutting down or empowering their employees to work remotely, hoping to slow the spread of the disease. 

As I write, I have no idea how fast this may continue to spread, how far it may reach, or how long it may last. But I do know that God is on the throne and will work for good, even in the midst of this horrible thing, for all who love Him and are called according to His purpose. So, in these uncertain days, we can take courage, not in hand sanitizer or social distancing (both of which are good and highly recommended), but in Jesus Himself, who is our peace. 

I'm also writing to let you know that after meeting with Christian Union's Executive Leadership Team, we decided to allow all employees to work remotely and have encouraged them to be good neighbors by staying at home as much as possible. I met via conference call yesterday with the directors of our university ministries to discuss ways we can — and will — minister to the students who have now scattered to all corners of America and the world. We have also postponed or canceled events in New York and Chicago, until further notice, as we've understood the importance of not contributing to the further spread of COVID-19. 

We have been in discussions with our ministry faculty and staff about how to appropriately use technology to continue to offer Bible courses and to speak into the lives of all who the Lord has brought into our various ministries. Please pray with us for wisdom during this time. We believe that, even in this unusual moment in history, God is still poised to work powerfully in people's lives, and that our ministry faculty is poised to minister in different but exciting new ways. So while we are changing gears to meet the new reality facing our ministry fellows, we will press on and trust God to work in ways that are beyond all we could ask or even think.

Like you, I am profoundly saddened by the impact of the coronavirus — yet I am also filled with hope. I have hope — and am praying fervently — that God would use this to turn people's hearts back to Himself. Please join me in these prayers. God has, in the past, sometimes used times like these to spur revival. For this reason — and due to the potentially catastrophic health and economic impact that the coronavirus could have — I have called on believers across America to join me and others in Christian Union in a 40 day initiative of prayer, fasting, and repentance, starting Wednesday, March 18. Please consider joining us by signing up at www.dayandnight.org. When Christians are faced with a potential calamity, the godly response is to examine ourselves to see if there is anything displeasing in our lives, and then to pray and seek His face for mercy (2 Chronicles 7:13-14).

If you sign up for the fast, you will receive daily devotionals during the 40 days, delivered via email, or you can read them each day by going to ChristianUnion.org/cu-today

At Christian Union, we remain — as always — deeply grateful to you, our ministry partners, who make the ministry possible. Thank you for praying with us during these difficult days. Thank you for your continued financial support. And please do consider joining me in our fast.

With warmest regards and love in Christ,

mattbennett signature blue

Matt Bennett
Founder and CEO
Christian Union
 
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