As I write to you today, enjoying the view outside my window, I realize I can’t yet see buds on the trees. But when I step outside, I can sense that spring is on the verge of appearing. I know that there is new life hidden just beneath the surface of the ground, waiting for the right moment to burst forth in all its glorious beauty. Spring is a powerful reminder of our Creator. I trust the inevitable coming of spring, still invisible to my eyes, because I trust the God that created nature itself.
With spring, also comes Easter where we celebrate not just new life, but everlasting life bought for each of us. Even the cross, an instrument of death, is instead a symbol of new life for all who place their trust in Christ. Just like winter and spring, where death gives way to new plant life, our new life through the death of Jesus is one of the eternal wonders of the Kingdom of God.
My question this Easter is this: Are we truly reflecting on and celebrating the salvation that Christ purchased for us with His blood? We’ve all lived for a year now in this crazy, uncertain pandemic world, and I think many people feel stuck. We still can’t celebrate holidays the same way, see the people we want to see or go the places we want to go. I know that COVID has caused fear and frustration to capture so many people’s minds and hearts. But Romans 12:12 tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and not to conform to the patterns of this world.
There are two ways I choose to transform my own thinking. First, I remind myself that I serve a God who has proven himself faithful to me. Second, I think of the lives and circumstances of the people God’s called me to serve overseas. When I feel tempted to wallow in the frustrations of pandemic life in Canada, I listen to the stories from our partners, and I’m so encouraged by the amazing miracles God is performing every day through their sacrificial service.
I’m inspired by the stories of our overseas partners because their desire to help people in need remains strong despite rising poverty, economic crisis, and the current health care disaster. Rather than being paralyzed by the fear around them, they are working harder than ever on behalf of the poor, the hurting, and the lost.
I recently learned that COVID cases in Ukraine are rising rapidly. Whereas vaccines are being quickly administered in Canada, the US, and Western Europe, poorer countries, like Ukraine, have much less access to these preventative measures. Hospitals are now overrun with patients and are turning the sick away. We have also been told that the conflict in the east is now escalating again.
In the city of Kiev, our partners are taking action. They have opened a daily outreach centre offering hot meals and clothing to those in need. They have already impacted hundreds of hungry and desperate people. We want to partner with them to feed the starving people who are walking through their doors every day. We are committing to providing enough food for at least 3 months.
Your gift of $30 will be enough for 24 hours. You can “adopt a day” and help the church care for the needs of many people, both physical and spiritual. You can choose today to transform your mind as Paul says in Romans. You can set your mind on the truth and hope of Easter, on new life in Christ. You can put aside fear and frustration and choose instead to share new life in Christ with those who need it!