Mission on the margins: A proposal for an alternative missional paradigm in the wake of COVID-19

Buhle Mpofu – January 2021

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic paralysed all aspects of human lives and transformed systems, cultures, businesses and institutions as communities grappled to stay safe from the deadly COVID-19. The existential desire for safety and shunning precarious situations prompted the need to delimit spaces we inhabit, as governments ordered lockdowns and closed borders as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus and fast track ‘contact tracing’. Demarcating territories through ‘stay at home’ instructions and regulations restricted travelling to essential services. The global threat presented by COVID-19 resulted in one of the worst socioeconomic disruptions in modern history, leaving a devastating impact and configuring the world in a scale never imagined before. As infections and deaths peaked, most countries introduced a lockdown and millions of jobs were lost; universities, schools, colleges and Technikons remained closed; oil prices plunged to critical levels and global trade was estimated to decline by 32% in 2020 (CNN 2020).