Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year & New Beginnings

The past three months I have been home in Georgia have swept by like a whirlwind. The hustle and bustle of the holidays combined with quality family time has been a healing balm to my soul. Before coming home, many challenges met me in Sierra Leone. Through the last few months of being home, I can honestly say that God has done a wonder in my own heart and has restored my joy and drive to return to Sierra Leone to the work He has called me to do.

Many claim the theology which supports that life for a follower of Christ is easy and breezy. However, through my own study and personal experience, I can assure you that the opposite is in fact is often true. Suffering is a given on the Road of Discipleship. It is how we interpret this suffering that reveals our true identity and character. Some allow suffering to utterly destroy them and roots of bitterness begin to take hold in their hearts. Some blame God and run in the opposite direction of faith. But today I want to testify that we, as followers of Christ, must embrace suffering and not fear it. We can list many fathers of the faith that faced trials, tribulations and even death for the sake of the Gospel.

I am convinced that this suffering is a blessing in disguise. It is the tool in our lives that alerts us to the fact that we need a Divine Being, God, to hold us and sustain us and something that ultimately projects the glory of God to a darkened world. I am learning that these times of suffering, though difficult, are sweet times that draw me closer to the One I need most...Christ. In this New Year, I would like to challenge you and myself. Let our trials bear fruits of faithfulness, refined character and utter dependence upon God. Let suffering push us into the loving arms of our Father who longs to bestow love and mercy on us in our greatest times of need. Let those who remain in darkness watch the steadiness of our faith and long for the same assurance in their own lives. I love you all and am thankful for all of your prayers, gifts and encouragement during this time.

I will return to Sierra Leone on January the 8th. We will be having the first Tree of Life graduation on January the 12th. Our new Tree of Life ministry in Makeni will also begin in the coming months. Please continue to remember us in your prayers and to advocate to your friends and churches on our behalf. Also, please visit our new Tree of Life website at www.miracletreeoflife.com. May God bless you all! Love God, love people.

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