May 20, 2020
International Mission Board officials have extended postponement of field personnel hosting ministry volunteer groups through July 31, according to an announcement on a May 20 Twitter post. The original date of June 30 was announced March 25 with a plan for it to be reevaluated in May.
IMB President Paul Chitwood said in the March 25 announcement the organization is considering health concerns and complying with guidance from the U.S. State Department.
The recent extension is based on the same considerations that prompted setting the original date, said Julie McGowan, IMB associate vice president for communication/marketing/public relations. Although a specific date for reevaluation has not been set, McGowan said that IMB’s “senior leaders continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis.”
While the directive affects only IMB workers, Chitwood said the IMB “strongly recommends that Southern Baptist volunteer teams postpone any travel during this time, particularly overseas travel.” McGowan expressed confidence that field personnel “are in close connection with their partners they would have planned to host during this time.”
The Twitter post stated, “We covet your continued prayers and support for gospel advance still happening around the world.” (TAB)