On this cold winter day, I sit thoughtfully pondering the journey that God guided us on in 2023 and His plans for us through 2024. As I examine my heart, I realize that working in Christian ministry does not shield me from the human tendency to give too much emotional attention to difficult burdens or negative thoughts. Left unchecked, this habit can erode hope and breed cynicism. Like the Israelites, sometimes we forget the fact that we serve Jehovah Jireh who is more than sufficient for every situation we face.
Confusion, frustration, and anger are the reality all around us, but they do not need to be the reality within us. The things that rule the world around you do not need to rule your heart. Purposefully placing your mind, your emotions, and your will under God’s sovereignty and relying on God's faithfulness is a daily discipline. When you do this, I think you will find that peace replaces pain, and hope replaces fear. When we surrender our struggles to God we will always find a PEACE that is more than enough.
As we head further into 2024, I want to encourage you to lean into Jehovah Jireh. Watch as seeds of grace and joy begin to root more deeply in your heart. Then watch it grow, because God always gives beyond our need. Ephesians 3:20 says this: "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us."
If you hide away like a turtle in its shell, you may survive the world's chaos, but you will be missing the enormous peace that can be found when you choose instead, to rely on God. When the peace in your heart comes from dependence on God rather than on yourself you are filled to overflowing. The overflow of grace and peace in your heart then becomes the fulfillment of someone else's prayer and need.
With war on their doorstep, our ministry teams continue to do this moment by moment. Throughout 2023 each of our partners, with a deep reliance on God, used the resources we sacrificially shared with them to lovingly serve the desperate and the broken. MPI donors were a vital part of God’s provision for many. Together, as we all stepped out of our own struggles to help others, the cold were warmed, the hungry fed, the thirsty quenched, and the lost introduced to Jesus.
I am so grateful for how God used us to rescue hundreds of children, families, and seniors in 2023. Many precious souls we encountered last year were experiencing physical and emotional pain I could barely understand. Yet, with determination and perseverance, we were able to bring hope, healing, and freedom to many hearts and lives.
As we continue to rely on God in 2024, we know that many relationships will be deepened and that many people will find peace and hope. There are so many hearts that still need the Jesus we serve. Thank you in advance for your faithful prayers and financial support. We are truly stronger together!
I want to share a short story with you about relying on God's faithfulness from someone I met when I was in Ukraine last September.
When I was in Ukraine last September I met a man named Alex and his mom, Mary. Alex’s wife and children left Ukraine because of the war. A former airport employee, Alex was laid off when the war stopped all incoming commercial traffic. Mary had a stroke a while back and needs special care. With no income, their economic outlook is grim. The church helps take care of Mary by bringing her food and vital hygiene items.
Mary prayed for her son’s salvation. In 2023, Alex started coming to church to bring his mom. He has a special exemption from the army because he cares for his mom. One Sunday last spring he stood up and asked for prayer for his coworkers who were on the front line of the war. Through the kindness and outreach of the people at Hope Church, he was starting to see how merciful God had been to him. Last spring he accepted Christ. Thanks to MPI donors, this family continues to receive regular care packages and hot meals every Sunday after church.