The world is convulsing. Just as COVID seemed to be waning, war breaks out. Another massive global disruption resulting in death and destruction. We lament with the psalmist: How long, O Lord, will the wicked triumph? But in our lament, we unwaveringly affirm: For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. Until then, we pray, we stand firm in faith, and we fulfill His command to go to all the world and make disciples.
One of our global partners shared this email from a Ukrainian pastor and colleague on the eve of the Russian invasion:
This is quite possibly our last means of correspondence for some time. War is imminent and the consequences will be dreadful. We are not leaving, how can we? As an elder in the assembly my responsibility is to shepherd at all times. It would be a terrible testimony to get up and leave. We have been preparing for this day. God is about to give us a great opportunity to show our Christian faith practically and reach out into our community with the Gospel. As we write, the military jets can be heard overhead, and we covet your prayers! We are not any braver than you – but confident we are where God would expect us to be.
Such courage is inspiring and spurs us to pray for the Church in difficult places. Faith anticipates God’s grander purposes in times of trouble. The gospel proclaimed by faithful churches is the only hope for a world plummeting downward. We too must be where God expects us to be. The Apostle Paul instructed Titus: And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14.
It has been a deep joy to see how the people of Calvary are stepping into the urgent needs of our local community. More than 130 grant applications have been received for the Kingdom Assignment: Marshall Fire Fund. We are now praying with, caring for, and distributing tangible relief to hundreds of our neighbors, co-workers, and friends who were severely impacted by the fire. We’re praying that each recipient will experience the love of God through a church that cares about them and find deeper faith in Jesus the Savior.
Additionally, 45 of our members have come alongside 27 Afghan refugees to help them settle into our communities. Currently, all three refugee families are in housing, the children are enrolled in school, and many of the adults have been employed and begun to work! God has answered so many prayers, and our volunteers have served so well. Urgent needs are being met and lives are being transformed.
The Book of James reminds us that faith without works is dead. How great is it to see these examples of generous, living faith intersecting with the pressing needs of our troubled world?! Thank you for your financial giving that makes this possible. And thank you for your prayers that these acts of service will result in spiritual life change. Let us be the Church right where God expects us to be!
Praying for you and with you,