"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
God uses events in our lives to shape us, to teach us, and to grow us. Last year, with the pandemic and many other events, achieved just that. Often the things of the past can quickly feel like shackles, holding us back. God does not want us bound to the past. He gives us a new beginning, freeing us to receive the things He has in store for us. We trusted Him to see us through a difficult time in the world's history. In this New Year, let us wholly and securely rely on His wisdom, provision, promises, and goodness. We continue to face the pandemic and new ways of living life, and no matter what comes your way, keep your joy! Our Heavenly Father promised never to leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8), and He desires to bless us. How can we not have joy in trusting Him?
updates from the field
As the New Year begins, we embark on a new journey. Our missionaries in Africa remain faithful in walking alongside our partners in mission as we explore new and different ways of doing ministry. The seminaries in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Kenya have opened and are off to a good start; the church in Malawi is constructing a new church. Despite the on-going challenges of covid-19, the focus remains on sharing the Gospel, strengthening relationships, and building the church.
All of the schools in Kenya reopened at the start of the NewYear. I visited Karama Academy Kibera with my colleague Britt Odemba, who serves as an education consultant. It was a joy to see all of the smiles and hear the laughter. The children and teachers are delighted to be back at school. There are many challenges as classes resume. The teachers are doing a lot of revision to get the students caught up and back on track. They are well on their way.
The Project 24 sites have reopened, and all of the children are back together. Various activities took place to help reintegrate the children. At Tumaini, local medical providers did medical check-ups to ensure the children were in good health; the children from Othoro did counseling and debriefing. The sites have taken great care to welcome the children back and get them back to regular routines.