Conversations | 1. Tim Costello – Faith in times of crisis

By Donna Shepherd AM • Managing Director
• Conversations

Tim Costello is no stranger to crisis.

As head of World Vision for 16 years, his job was to travel to disaster zones around the world to help with the recovery effort, often in the very early days when the sense of grief and loss was very raw.

The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 is one such event which sticks in Tim’s mind as he visited Sri Lanka in the hours after the country’s east coast was inundated.

And he found that the most fundamental factor in people’s ability to cope in the face of such devastation was their faith. Their faith gave even the most vulnerable people a sense of hope and purpose. For many, faith was the only resource they had.

The COVID-19 pandemic will be another test of the strength and resilience of people worldwide. And Tim believes that faith will play a major role in the recovery after the virus eventually passes and the world begins to return to normal. He points out that at its best, faith reminds us that no one is invulnerable, but that there is a way to recovery if we “own” our loss and grief, and strive to emerge from the crisis more resilient and more connected with each other.

Tim Costello is a Baptist minister, director of Ethical Voice and executive director of Micah Australia. He is also a special adviser to Creating Communities.

This is the first in Creating Communities’ series of video conversations with prominent Australians offering insights and wisdom on coping with the challenges this pandemic presents for all of us. It is a key part of our “Stronger Together” approach to the COVID-19 crisis as we work to bring people and communities together to help each other through this testing time.