Every cloud has a silver lining.
For most of us 2020 has been a year of adversity and blessing. The virus and current events, have unleashed a fury of change in work life, one’s ability to be with extended family, and the normalcy of daily routines.
Dickens’s words in A Tale of Two Cities come to mind…
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way ...”
Amidst the uncertainty, vulnerability, and restrictions there have been the silver linings of God’s sovereignty, provision and grace. It’s been a challenging year, but it’s also been a good year. Irony filled the air with a sort of upside down reality, with blessings in disguise. We’ve been forced to slow down and change paradigms in how we live, work, minister and leisure.
While travels have been restricted since April, equipping leaders in Jesus centric disciple-making has continued for Concentric. In many cases it has increased in depth and breadth. We canceled or postpone many live gatherings this Summer and Fall. But then through technology we innovated and started several new ministries that reaped a tremendous harvest. God has led us through the storm and brought new blessings.
Concentric is a relationally driven ministry. And relationships happen most naturally when we inhabit the same space with those we want to love and influence. But that’s not always possible. I am thankful for all that we have been able to accomplish through Zoom, WhatsApp, and FaceTime this year. We’ve engaged with leaders in well over 100 countries through technology.
Your prayers and financial investment have made a kingdom impact in 2020. Leaders and have been equipped, churches and ministries have been changed, new churches have started, and some people have started following Jesus for the first time. We have testimonies of entire villages confessing Christ and being baptized, and of innovative church services beginning like the Kolkata window sill church that I mentioned in last month’s update. It’s not been a year without clouds. But God has a way of showing up powerfully in the storms and surprising us with new fruit in areas we weren’t expecting.
Stories of an Exponential Return on Investment
Ernesto Alfaro became a follower of Jesus Christ as a teenager in the early 2000s through our alliance ministry Sonlife Latin America in Costa Rica. Today he is helping plant churches and train pastors in South America and lives in Santiago, Chile. His network is reaching a predominantly nominal Catholic and secular audience with the Gospel. He and his wife have also been critical players in our starting a new Latin American mission called Singular.org that is impacting over a dozen countries while providing Concentric based equipping and support for missionaries throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Your support makes it possible for me and others to help Ernesto and the Latin American team continue to expand the church. Thank You!
Diego has a similar role as Ernesto but he lives in Costa Rica. When he was no longer able to meet with his ministry team in person, he started doing a podcast to continue encouraging and equipping his team online. As a result, he not only continues investing in his team, a lot of other leaders from other Central America countries are tuning in to his new podcasts for equipping. His span of influence has increased tenfold. And through generous partners, we were able to help provide equipment for these podcasts to happen! This is an exciting new ministry that will continue post pandemic.
You can read another life change story through clicking on link below. Don’t miss Conny’s testimony. She and her husband are used by God in Western Europe to train leaders and provide new resources for equipping! They also helped start mystory.me. And recently Conny was able to help us create and provide a new Harmony of the Gospel study in German and Spanish. These equipping tools will be instrumental in many countries for years to come!
If you’re a prayer and financial partner, thank you. If you are not, and you want to find out how to get involved in this exciting ministry, email me at [email protected] You can also do so by visiting our website at: https://concentricglobal.org/partner/circle/. Your partnership is critical.
Mike Harder, President of Concentric