Dear Church Family!
A blessed Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday to you. I trust that you are keeping well, safe and connected to others in the family of God during this very difficult time in our country and lives.
I am writing this letter to you, since I can’t meet with you “face to face”, to share with you some thoughts during this Isolation Time. Not being able to worship together has been a struggle. We have to walk through the challenges that affect so many of our loved ones, friends, neighbours and ourselves every day. It is hard to hear of the pain, loneliness and discomfort many are experiencing.
I love to hear the reports of how Christians are rising to the challenge to come alongside people that are struggling so deeply. My daughter is working through our charity, Life Exchange, providing diapers, baby food, baby wipes, sanitizers and home baked meals for many young mothers with newborns that are overwhelmed and battling anxiety and depression trying to look after their child(ren), grocery shopping and finances. She has assembled her friends to reach out and come alongside these that are hurting.
Another group of believers seek out the shut-in seniors & the elderly in their area making sure they are well cared for and not suffering from loneliness. Safety & social distancing are done. Linda is making blankets for young moms with newborn babies. Sadly, too many can’t afford this basic need for their children.
I am hearing from many of our PAOC Missionaries and Global Workers that have to deal with tragedies, persecution, famine plus deaths from Covid19. The stress that they are under is ever increasing with no relief in sight. I am sure that many of you are praying & caring for numerous missionaries.
In times like these Linda and I pause to meditate on what God is seeing and wants us to see in and through this Pandemic. We have people that are not believers asking us to pray for them and their families in how to not panic and be controlled by their fear. It is amazing how open people for prayer.
The Lord’s word to me is “put your faith into action, so that your actions will inspire faith into those seeking God in these turbulent days.” We do have the opportunity to bring the strength and power of our faith in God into purpose and action. Our prayers can make a tremendous difference in those around us. Putting hands and feet to our prayers becomes the opportunity for Jesus’ grace to be revealed and experienced.
I believe that Jesus is telling us, “The harvest is ready for reaping.” Now is the time to connect with people in your “circle of life” to bring compassion, kindness, love, mercy and charity to them. We are to arise in these times so that we can bring “hope in hopeless times, faith in crisis and love in the hour of fear.”
As we gather via video this Good Friday and Resurrection Easter Sunday may you be comforted, encouraged and blessed richly through God’s Word and Spirit.
Linda and I extend our sincere love and appreciation for each of you as we experience that “together we are better because of our risen Christ!”
Pastor Rod, Linda and our family.
我喜歡聽到有關基督徒如何應對挑戰的報導，或與一些有關正處於掙扎的人同行。 我的女兒在慈善機構Life Exchange工作，是提供尿布，嬰兒食品，嬰兒濕紙巾，清潔液和家庭送餐給一些年輕的新生母親，她們要面對焦慮和抑鬱，並要照顧初生嬰兒，生活必需品購物和財務等。她更召集了她的朋友們去接觸那些受到傷害的人一同並肩作戰。
我從神召總會得知許多傳教士和全球工作人員要應對Covid-19疫情所造成的悲劇，迫害，飢荒和死亡。 他們承受的壓力越來越大，看不到任何緩解。 我相信你們當中也為著這些傳教士祈禱。
在這疫情其間，Linda 與我停下來一同默想神要我們所領受的，並希望我們透過這疫情中都能明白神的心意。 我們有些非信徒，他們希望我們為他們及家人禱告，如何避免驚慌，並在恐懼中能夠受控。 奇妙的是很多人開放的接受祈禱。
主對我說“將你的信心付諸行動，以致在這動蕩的日子裏，你的行動能激勵那些尋求神的人的信心。” 有機會將我們對神那份信心轉化為目的和行動。 我們的祈禱可以對我們周圍的人產生巨大的影響。用行動實現我們的祈禱，會成為耶穌的恩典得以彰顯和經歷的機會。
我相信耶穌在告訴我們，“莊稼已經熟，可以收割了。” 現在是時候在你的“生活圈”中與人建立聯繫，為他們帶來同情，仁慈，慈愛，憐憫和善行。 我們將在這時代中崛起，在絕望中充滿盼望，在危難中有著信心，在恐懼中有著愛”。
Pastor Rod, Linda and our family.