COVID-19 Update, 22 April 2020

We want to share with you how SIM Australia is responding and caring for our mission workers as the coronavirus situation continues to evolve.

Our Australian COVID-19 Taskforce meets weekly to review and manage our response. Below is an update about how we are responding to this pandemic.

Our Mission Workers
We give thanks to God that all our mission workers are currently safe and well. Our mission workers who are in a safe location, in good health, and well supported, have been encouraged to remain in their assigned country. Each of our SIM receiving countries has a team in place to advise our mission workers in their local context in consultation with SIM Australia. The situation for mission workers considered to be at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 has been reviewed in consultation with field leadership and precautions have been taken to ensure their safety.

SIM Australia has communicated guidelines with our mission workers for their various contexts. The recommendations and regulations surrounding the coronavirus pandemic are constantly changing. We appreciate your understanding and partnership as we work alongside our mission workers to support them during this time.

Please do keep in touch with your mission worker at this time and let them know that you are praying for them. It will be a great encouragement to them.

Travel Restrictions
SIM Australia has implemented SIM International’s travel ban for all non-essential international travel. If a mission worker finds themselves in a situation where they need to undertake essential international travel (with the exception of a medical emergency), they will be in communication with the SIM Australia National Director and their country director for advice and assistance.

Pastoral Care and Counselling
This crisis has placed a great deal of stress and unforeseen circumstances upon us all. In order to support and care for our workers through this season, the services of professional counsellors trained in pastoral care is available to them.

SIM Australia Office Closure
SIM’s Sydney and Melbourne offices are currently closed, and our staff are working remotely. 
 
The exception to this is our Partner Relations Team supporting our donors and churches in the Sydney office. This team (with reduced on-site staffing) is accessible to our supporters in Australia via phone 1300 746 580 and email partner.relations@sim.org.au between 10am and 3pm (reduced hours) Monday – Friday. Please do leave a voicemail message or contact the team via email if you are unable to get through to the office.
 
SIM Australia events
All in-person SIM Australia events and supporter events are cancelled until further notice. We are currently evaluating ways to help support those in Australia to engage using online channels. 

Supporting Health Ministries
SIM Australia is currently preparing a tax-deductible fund for those who wish to partner financially with a number of SIM health ministries to assist in the provision of essential medical supplies. The mission workers who are in these ministries are courageously serving during this global pandemic to show God’s love and compassion to people in dire need of medical attention.

‘By Prayer’
As we navigate this crisis, we remain confident in the truth that God is faithful and sovereign in every circumstance.

We would value your prayers as we continue to walk through these uncertain days. Since SIM’s beginnings, the focus has always been to respond to the needs around us ‘By Prayer’. Please join us as we call on the Lord during this time.

Coronavirus Prayer Points

If you have any questions, please contact our Partner Relations team on 1300 746 580 or by emailing partner.relations@sim.org.au. Thank you for your partnership as we continue to Make the Gospel Global.
 

In Him,
Mal Watts
SIM Australia National Director