By Julie McGowan
IMB associate vice president of communications and public relations
RICHMOND, Va.—Desiring to help its team members maintain access to unreached peoples and places and remain healthy as they seek to take the gospel to all nations, the International Mission Board announced a policy Sept. 8 for field personnel and staff members related to COVID-19 vaccinations. This policy addresses the challenges of overseas life and travel requirements for IMB missionary personnel and IMB staff members who travel overseas.
“The International Mission Board exists to serve Southern Baptists in carrying out the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations — even to those people in the overpopulated urban cities, even to those in the hardest-to-reach jungles and plains,” said IMB President Paul Chitwood. “And the IMB is pressing forward to share the gospel even in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic that is no respecter of geographical boundaries or human demographics.”
“We must make every wise decision, even when a decision is exceptionally difficult, that maintains our team members’ access to the growing number of unreached peoples and places around the world where vaccines are required for entry,” Chitwood said. “We also want to do all we can to undergird our team members’ spiritual and physical health to maximize our effectiveness as we serve Southern Baptists in our global gospel endeavors.”
A growing number of the countries in which IMB field personnel serve are requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter, remain in or exit the country. Some field personnel have reported incidents in their countries of service where proof of vaccination must be shown for adults and older children to board a subway, enter a shopping mall, eat in a restaurant, or board an airplane for travel. [Read more…]