There are years in our journey that serve as markers to events and special events in our lives. The birth years of our children mark such landmarks. The 30 plus moves we made as a family to different cities/countries allows me to recall what we were doing and where we were living. These serve as clear reminders of the path that God has us on and His continual plan for our lives.
2020 will be such a year.
As I reflect on our 2020 calendar I see lots of events and opportunities. Many of these activities were scheduled years in advance (one had been booked seven years ago). Everything was in neat order and plans were taking shape. This was to be an exciting year of travel both overseas and across the US. We looked forward to shaping lives through the testimonies and witness of Believers in Persecution.
But 2020 became a year of reflection as well as action. A year that screeched to a halt and caused us to slow down.
Early in the year, we were able to travel to several events (Canada, Ohio, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina) but slowly the calendar began to look more like a preschoolers scribbled drawing as events and dates were marked out. We found ourselves looking out through screens and doing messages on Zoom, SKYPE, and other internet avenues.
Reflecting. We could focus on all the things that have been difficult. Those we love who have suffered from the virus. Nik’s two surgeries this year. Family members who are suffering.
But these have been good days. Good days to reflect and to have part of our family near us. Looking back at 2020 we find that God has given us opportunity to reflect on what the Body of Christ really is.
This year we have heard of Believers in places of persecution who took their food and other resources they had and shared it with their neighbors who had less or nothing. We heard of men who are followers of Christ in Iranian prisons who are asking us to pray that they will be faithful to share their faith. We have heard some of them have been very sick with Covid yet their families carry on with creativity ministering within the Body of Christ.
We have reflected on our own “sheltering in place” and heard of workers and Believers who have been quarantined for weeks at a time with only short periods where one member of the family is allowed to go out and get groceries. They share their groceries with their neighbors.
We have heard of a young believer who was beaten by his family when he shared of his new faith. Coming from the hospital he returned to his family to share more due to his love for Jesus.
We have begged God to care for a believing couple arrested and imprisoned for their faith.
We have participated in online church services. We have worshiped around our table with our son and his wife and grandson. We have worn masks and we have social distanced. Many in the family remain very ill with Covid. One female member remains in hospital after a terrible car accident.
Above all this, we have been drawn to the power of prayer and the joy we gain as we pray for our local family as well as the family of God around the world. More than ever we have been challenged with the responsibility we have to PRAY. It is hard work.
May 2020 be the year we use as a marker that launches us into a New Year when our prayers are put into action.