Monday, December 23, 2019

Blessed Christmas to All

It's been quite a year for the ministry of Discipling Marketplace Leaders.  It's been a year of great growth and also of significant losses.  It's been a year of blessings and spiritual warfare.  It's been a year of both exceptional highs and lows.

For many of our African Implementing Partners, it's been the same.  There were economic growth and jobs created, but there were also currency exchange challenges, religious and ethnic challenges, and some natural disasters.  There were denominations who joined the DML movement and churches who became distracted and lost progress.

Additionally, the Global Church made some progress in key areas in this past year but struggled fundamentally in other ways that are deeply painful for the testimony of Christians.

Maybe each year feels this way.  We reflect and are thankful, while at the same time wondering what is changing?  What progress is being made?  How different are we today from the struggles of last year?  Ten years ago?  One hundred years ago?  One thousand years ago?

How long, Lord, will you tarry?

We make our plans for 2020.  We try to discern the voice of the Lord and His will.  We try not to get ahead but to listen for His voice.

There is much work to be done.  There is the opportunity for revival and reformation if we stay the course.

I remind myself every day to be thankful for life and to remember that all I have is today.  I remind myself each day that I am responsible to be obedient - I am not responsible for results.

I was reminded yesterday in church of how the "things of earth will grow strangely dim" when we turn our eyes upon Jesus.  We keep our eyes focused on Him.

And so, as we spend time in this season remembering this great gift we have been given, we are aware of not only how we receive this gift, but how this gift spurs us into action.  2 Corinthians 5:14 reminds us that Christ's love compels us - as we have been loved much, so we, in turn, love much. And so we strive to do this every day.  And we are joined with many on this path - not doing it perfectly but striving to do it well and putting one foot in front of the other every day.

Thank you for those who have modeled Christ's love to us and with us and through us, as you have prayed, encouraged, and supported this ministry in this past year.

From the DML family, we wish you a blessed Christmas and a blessed New Year!