We’re busy preparing for Easter celebrations and two straight weeks of VBS this week! Continue reading for photos from our outreaches this week as well as a recap of all the posts on the site.
It’s the day before Resurrection Sunday.
In the past, I’ve loved to focus mainly on the triumph of Sunday, skimming over the pain and grief and sorrow that lie in the days before Resurrection. (We know how the story ends!) I have had no love for the dark days. The days where we don’t know what God is doing, or what people around us are doing. Days filled with darkness when we can’t see the light. I want to run ahead, in my mind and in my prayers to the light-filled days when I get a glimpse of the good. When I can feel the light shining.
I’m an optimist by nature and glossing over the hard things comes easy to me. It’s too easy to look ahead to Sunday sometimes because I can forget the darkness of today. But I am coming to see that this isn’t the path for those of us who follow Jesus.
We have a Savior who suffers with us. Who knows our pain and disappointment, our worry and our grief and Who has been abandoned and betrayed and beaten. I need to remember that those who know suffering are often those who love the most.
We’ve been listening to the stories of the widows in our church in India. (I posted the first one here, and more to come soon.) Their stories begin in darkness. They stay in darkness for at least the first half of their lives. Then Jesus.
But they don’t gloss over their decades of pain. They recount year after year in darkness, in lives so unbearable, so hopeless that they wished for death—for themselves and their children. They find honor in recounting the darkness before the light came into their lives. Not once has one of them skimmed over their past because they’ve experienced the Resurrection. They recount the days before. The shame and humiliation are made sweeter by the hope and joy they have now.
These strong women have helped me in this season to stay with the Story. Not to skip ahead to tomorrow, when I know it all works out, but to stay in the grief and uncertainty with the first followers of Jesus. In doing so, I think it has helped my own grief and sorrow continue to heal.
I pray for each of you in the darkness today, for the comfort and love you can only find in this place. For the hope of tomorrow, yes, but also for the ability to sit in this darkness knowing you have One who suffers with you. One who looks at you with only love and compassion.
When we’re in the darkness, I used to picture Jesus just up ahead cheering us on—but that’s not Jesus. Now I think He sits beside us and weeps with us in the pain, the grief, the sorrow. It’s easy for me to do this with those we serve, but for some reason, it’s been harder to make sure I apply it to myself.
Now, on to photos from our week, and a recap of Jack’s articles and Q&A we’ve featured:
Our volunteers have been visiting the new village that has started attending our church. It’s a simple act, to go to them, but to them it is huge. When you are the lowest in society, it’s a big deal for someone to give up their day to come to you and give their love and time.
We had more milk packets delivered.
It’s already a very hot summer in India, and our volunteers have been working long hours, tirelessly planning for VBS next week. Our volunteers are amazing and sacrifice much for the people we serve. Our people have seen this and many from the tribe have stepped up to help as well!
Scenes from our Sunday Service:
We don’t all fit into the building anymore, so we use the little front porch as overflow.
Sunday School Classes: We spread out mats in any little shady spot we can find.
The men and women pray while the kids have their classes.
Milk packets for all the kids! This was recommended by a doctor who helps us. It’s a good, nonperishable protein for them.
Thank you for keeping us, this ministry and our outreaches in prayer, and thank you for your support! We couldn’t do any of this without you.
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God bless you!
Here’s a recap of this week’s featured posts, in case you missed any:
Commentary on the Psalms
- Was His Body Broken?
- How Do I Become Born Again?
- A Burning Question
- Out Of Context?
- The Four Cups Of Passover
- Besetting Sins?
- Dwelling On Past Mistakes
- Walking In The Spirit
- Forgiven For All Sins Or Just Past Sins?
- Are We Supposed To Just Get By?
- A Characteristic Of God
- Conviction Or Condemnation?
- Pearls Before Swine
- Does Jesus Feel Our Pain?
- Take Up Your Cross