Looks like we made it! It’s January 2021. Finally! I find myself looking back at the strangest, most unpredictable, and most difficult year of my entire life. As much as I would like to pretend otherwise, I have to be honest and say that many days it was hard to deal with the world around me without feeling anxiety and stress.
What are your thoughts as you look back at the craziness of 2020? Are they primarily negative or positive? Are you remembering the stress and the fear? Or are you remembering how God was faithful and how He sustained you through it all?
When I look back to this past year, I see the times when I was worried or felt overwhelmed. But underneath all of that, there was a common thread, a determination that I could not let go of. It was the truth that God still cared for me and was watching over my family.
Psalms 121:7-8 says this: “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.” I know that promise is real because I’ve experienced it in action in my own life, time after time. Sometimes it’s harder to see, but even those times when I don’t, the truth of God’s faithfulness is so deeply rooted in my heart that I know there is no other path for me, except to trust Him.
It is this unshakeable trust in God’s provision for us as a ministry that continues to give us confidence in our mission. Trust in God drives our persistent efforts to bring lasting hope amidst the rising poverty that is exploding across Ukraine and Belarus. It also means that in every interaction we have, and with every practical gift, we can boldly share the promise of God’s faithful care for us.
I know the coming winter may be difficult. We’re all weary and want life to go back to normal. However, I want you to pause for a moment and think about what “normal” might look like for a Ukrainian living in poverty during a cold winter, especially for someone who doesn’t have faith and trust in God. How bleak and frightening that would be!
Winter is always difficult for poor people living in a cold climate. Many people we’ve encountered have no reliable heating in their homes. Just imagine this heart-rending choice: feed yourself and your children or be warm. I know that this problem will be greatly pronounced this winter because of the pandemic. That’s why this year, the need seems to be more grave than ever and the blankets we are once again giving are even more important.
Yet as important as the blankets themselves are, I believe that the truth of God’s faithful provision for His people is the true treasure we can share. The Psalms 121 message is one that I will continue to keep rooted in my heart in 2021. It is this promise that will truly bring light into each person’s dark and cold winter.
Will you help me make sure that dedicated volunteers can deliver these warm blankets while they share the most important truth of all? Will you help people to hear what we already know? That message is, that no matter what 2021 may look like, they can trust a faithful God who will always care and provide for them.