I enjoy writing the first letter of the year just as much as I enjoy writing the last one. There is excitement in looking at things past, and excitement in anticipating the events of 2012! As we share our faith with Andy, Eduard and Thomas, one of the most powerful aids is and has been answered prayers.
And so we bring that about in our discussions and allow them to see what it means to put your trust in the Lord. Let me give you an example – as we opened one Christmas card after the other, we shared with them the content of the letters, and we prayed.
Then one day this letter came from our dear friends whom we knew were expecting a baby in mid-December. I opened it with the expectation of seeing a picture entitled, “Our baby’s first Christmas”.
Eduard and Tommy were with me in the room, so they were waiting for the same thing. Inside there was a picture of them, but not with a baby.
At the end of their letter, they mentioned the baby was still born due to a health condition. Battling tears, I finished reading the letter to them because the end was so amazing – acknowledging their pain, they were rejoicing in the Lord for his graciousness.
Their words gave us a tremendous opportunity to tell our sons this is the loving God we serve – a God who walks with us through periods of mourning and gives us the strength to praise Him no matter the circumstances.
One event we anticipate during the Christmas Season is the get-together with the Sunday school teachers. For these past seven years it has always been a tremendous blessing to sing, share, laugh, pray and thank the Lord for how He is working in our lives and in the lives of the children we meet with every Sunday. We usually have several team-building activities. This year, instead of a game, we split in groups for a faith exercise.
Each group got three sheets of paper with the words “BLESSINGS”, “ANSWERED PRAYERS” and “PRAYER REQUESTS” at the top. They were then each asked to fill them out.
With God’s grace, we will revisit them at the end of 2012, but in the mean time, we thought it would be a good idea to do the same for us and our ministry. Lord willing, we will share in this year’s December letter what the Lord has taught us in the process.
So please take a glance at the left to see what we have written. Knowing you will pray with us and for us is an amazing gift from God and we cannot thank Him and you enough!
Let us close with a thought from D.A. Carson, from the “Loving God” daily devotional. Writing on Esther 4:16, he says, “True to her upbringing by Mordecai, Esther simultaneously expresses confidence in the living God and avoids the presumption that God’s purposes for her life are easy to infer.
She knows that God is there and that he hears and answers importunate prayer. “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa [the capital city], and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. . . . And if I perish, I perish.”
While she resolves to do what is right, she acknowledges that she cannot see her own future and commits herself to the grace of God.” Though we are nowhere close to facing the same situation like Esther, we too can acknowledge at the beginning of this year that we cannot see our own future, and therefore we commit ourselves to the grace of God.
In prayer, thanking the Lord for His immeasurable grace and for faithful prayer partners,
Adrian, Ema, Andy, Eduard and Tommy