“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!” (2 Peter 1:2)
Earlier this year we enjoyed studying through the books of 1 & 2 Peter with small groups at our church. In those letters the Apostle Peter encouraged a group of scattered believers facing various trials (doesn’t that sound like the Church today?) by directing their attention to Jesus Christ.
- Jesus’ precious blood had ransomed them from their former, futile ways!
- His resurrection had caused them to be born again to a living hope and heavenly inheritance!
- His life of submission and obedience to the Father left them an example to follow in suffering.
- His future coming would bring salvation for believers and judgment on the unjust!
In the midst of a global pandemic and economic depression, when it is easy to be anxious about what we don’t know and can’t control, we have found encouragement by focusing on what we do know about the One who is in control! For there is no other true source of grace or peace than Him! We are praying for those of you facing “various trials” right now and hope this past week’s celebration of Christ’s ultimate victory over sin and death was a source of joy and comfort to you!
How has the Coronavirus outbreak affected our family and plans? A month ago, we had just returned from a weekend in western Washington when our governor asked residents to suspend all gatherings and non-essential business or travel for two weeks. So, out of respect for our civil authorities and love for others, we cancelled a couple local church meetings and spent those weeks in quarantine. Jeff finished some work on the house for our landlord and I started sorting through stuff in preparation for our move to Papua New Guinea.
During our time at home, Jeff has been putting his tools to use again.
The girls enjoyed our backyard Easter egg hunt.
As our country continued to grapple with the spread of coronavirus, it became clear that we needed to put travel plans on hold even longer. That meant cancelling visits to another four churches in Montana this month. Although we hope to reschedule those, we are also trying to prepare for the possibility that social distancing may go on for a while and exploring other avenues for sharing our ministry. Thankfully, technology can go a long way in helping to close the distance.
Papua New Guinea is also under a state of emergency until June 5th. So far only a few cases of CoVid-19 have been discovered there and we fervently pray that God will have mercy on that nation! We were informed that no new work permits will be processed until June. This means our departure for PNG will be delayed at least a few weeks and subject to changes in the situation both here and there.
Naturally, it’s disappointing when things don’t go according to our plan, but we continue to trust the Lord to accomplish His purposes, in His way, in His time! We will keep doing everything we can from home to raise the rest of our financial support and be ready to move forward when the time comes!
It is sad to know that many are facing this crisis without the knowledge of Christ and are unprepared for eternity. But God is patient, “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Until He comes again, we all have an essential job to do – love one another fervently and tell others about Him! Please join us in praying for our coworkers around the world, and specifically in PNG, who continue to minister in difficult circumstances while following local government mandates. Pray that nothing prevents the life-saving message of the gospel from going forth and that hearts are prepared to receive it!
May you “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen!” (2 Peter 3:18)
- For God’s “great mercy” which “has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for [us], who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”! (1 Peter 1:3-5)
- For the commitment & generosity of so many partnering with us to support church planting in Papua New Guinea!
- For governing authorities to have wisdom in responding to & managing the current global health & economic crisis.
- For God’s protection, provision & peace for gospel workers around the world, many serving in places of poverty with very limited technological or medical resources.
- That many would come to know Christ through this crisis & that believers would be strengthened in their faith.
- For wisdom & flexibility as we adjust our plans.