Looking Back and Looking Forward!
With the New Year here it is time to look back at the year that was and look forward to the potential year before us. First, for those of us who carry the banner of Christ, it is a time to reflect on all that God has done in carrying us through another year.
For our family it is easy to see how God has carried us through the year. A healthy wife and mom reminds us everyday how God has guided us, provided for us, healed us, and protected us. This last year we saw God finish our partnership team, we miraculously made our flight to Tirana with all of our luggage, God provided a place that has extra space for group meetings and Bible studies, God quickly showed us many ways to serve Him, and He has carried us through so many tribulations. Praise and thanks to God for His mercy, loving-kindness, and protection!
Also, thank you to all of you who have prayed for us during the last year and gave to our ministry. Your prayers have helped carry us through every tribulation and your gifts have warmed us in the cold. Opening the Christmas cards and gifts were so exciting for all of us. Thank you so much! And a special thank you to those of you have sent gifts to cover the added expenses from Eve’s medical troubles. The added expenses of the trip were definitely more than we had bargained for (for those of you still interested in helping fill needs from the trip, please email us). Your love gifts have been overwhelming. Praise God for the body of Christ!
After looking backwards, next we look forward to the coming year. God has given us many opportunities to share His Word. We are looking forward to continuing the Bible studies, preaching, discipling, and the many areas of service God has already given to us. We also hope to work with the Family Life Group in the coming months- major family and marriage conferences are coming up in February and we hope to help. Also, we are looking forward to using the newly acquired Gospel tracts (thank you Koinonia!) at the nearby University. So, with our personal growth goals in place, and our tasks set before us, we press on toward the goal.
For those of us that follow Christ, this is a good time to remember not just our personal goals, our family goals, our ministry goals, and every other goal we can set for ourselves, but it’s also a great time to make sure we are focused on Him. He is coming. He will come whether we are ready or not. Are we living life in expectation of His arrival? Are we living like the five wise virgins? Our hope for ourselves is that this year we would walk with our eyes fixed on the horizon in great expectation of our coming King- the hope of glory.
May God bless you in the coming year with a fuller knowledge of Himself, knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, and the hope of our upward calling in Christ Jesus!
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11, NASB)