“…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13b-14
In a letter to a friend, the author of hymn Amazing Grace, John Newton once wrote this of his New Year’s practice:
“New Years finds me employed. I compare it to a hill on the road, from the top of which I endeavor to look back on the way that the Lord has led me thus far through the wilderness. I look around to contemplate the difference his goodness has made between my situation, and that of thousands of my fellow creatures. I then look forward, and perceive that I am drawing apace to my journey’s end. I shall soon be at home.”
Reflecting back on God’s faithfulness in the past helps us press on with confidence in His faithfulness for the future. As our calendars turn over and a new year begins, we enter a time of transition from one season of life to another. It’s good to pause and look back. There may be some disappointments and pains we leave behind in 2020. But there are more traces the faithfulness of God, His working and His provision.
-Many of our regional training events shifted to online platforms. This actually expanded
our attendance and in many instances doubled or tripled it.
-Our leadership team met 3 times more often than in 2019 (online).
-In many parts of the world, our teams reported a greater openness to the Gospel and
people coming to faith in Jesus in larger numbers than in recent years.
-Some of our leaders in developing countries responded to food shortages by shifting focus to the crisis at hand to serve the vulnerable. While physical needs were met, spiritual interest peaked
and new house churches were planted and new leaders equipped to lead. In one Leper colony
village 15 people accepted Christ and were baptized together early one morning.
-Leaders in Latin America started an online podcast that now reaches an expanding base of
emerging ministry leaders. What was a group of a half dozen leaders being coached has
expanded to several dozen.
-Our leaders were able to invest more time in their local ministries and grow deeper roots and
more sustainability in their home base churches and ministries.
-God identified new points of contact and “people of peace” within unreached people groups and
countries which help pointe us for future ministry expansion.
While 2020 posed challenges to us all, it also opened new doors of opportunity for expanded ministry. God is faithful! As we reflect back let us also dream forward as God leads us in His mission to make disciples who make disciples of all nations! Together let’s be attuned to the voice of God in our lives in 2021.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Then when we’d first begun.
God’s mission for us has not changed because of COVID or any other present circumstance in our world. We press on more earnest to mobilize indigenous workers to bring Jesus’ hope to their people and create disciple-making movements that spread the Good News of the kingdom of God to all nations! If you are not already partnering with us in some manner, find out how you can join us in making a difference! Email me at [email protected]