This is critical and time sensitive information regarding your GO Team. Please read the following communication in its entirety – action steps for you are included at the bottom.
This afternoon the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a Global Travel Advisory of Level 3 which means they are encouraging all Americans to ‘Reconsider Travel’ outside the US. The CDC reports that, “Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.” In addition, the US is increasing its limitations for travelers re-entering its borders from other countries and quarantine restrictions.
One of the guidelines our Outreach Strategy Team agreed on regarding COVID-19 protocol was that we would not send teams to areas where the CDC Travel Advisory was above a Level 2. As of today, this now includes every country outside the US.
For this reason, travel for all domestic and international 2020 Compassion GO Teams is suspended indefinitely. It is simply not wise or practical at this point for our teams to travel. We do not want to put our teams or our ministry partners at unnecessary risk, but it is also reasonable to presume at this point that our teams would be too limited in their activities to be effective in carrying out ministry in the field.
Practically, what does this mean for you and your team?
- Steps will not be taken to finalize travel plans for your team until the restrictions on travel and/or re-entry are lifted for the location of your trip. Essentially, everything related to your GO Team preparation is ‘on pause’ until further notice.
- All support raising and financial deadlines for trips are also suspended. It’s very important that team members communicate this information to everyone on their support team. As we’ve communicated before, any donations made to a trip will be held for that team member should your current team end up traveling this year or on another team in 2020 or 2021.
- All GO Team Formations (meetings) are also suspended. Please encourage your team to shift their focus to caring for your families and neighbors. Compassion is proactively putting systems in place to care for our communities by serving the most vulnerable among us and those who will be affected economically and otherwise. To find out more about how to get involved in our local response as needs arise in our communities, please go to CompassionChristian.com/Response.
- As soon as any changes are made to the status of your team and it is possible for us to move forward with your team’s travel plans or reschedule we will contact you directly and work through next steps for funding and preparation.
What do you need to do now?
- Please stay connected. Check your email for updates and let us know if you are getting questions you can’t answer or concerns from your team members or their families.
- Please communicate well with your teams regarding next steps. Take the steps necessary to cancel upcoming Team Formations etc.
- Please communicate well with our partners. I will be sending a message to each of them letting them know our current status with teams. It will be an encouragement to hear from you and to know that your team is continuing to pray for them as they respond to this virus in their own communities.
- Please be wise about what you post and repost on social media. You are a leader in our church and people will follow you.
- Please be ready to respond to our local communities. Your leadership will be invaluable across our campuses and communities should we need to respond to an outbreak in our area.
To find out more about the measures Compassion is taking to ensure that all our campuses are safe environments please go to CompassionChristian.com/Response and click on ‘Get Updates’.
Please reach out to Sarah or myself with any questions or if we can support you in any way! THANK YOU for your leadership in shepherding these teams. THANK YOU for your love for our partners and their communities. Please continue to pray with us that God would be made known throughout the world in this situation and that those looking for answers and hope would find them in Him. May His church bring Him glory!