Bringing Some Happiness – Monday, November 30th

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:12 – 13 (NIV)

Anke Berner

Anke Berner

VBS had hardly started when a girl asked if I could make a “late visit” to her mother because she needed some happiness. I was surprised, because  just  that  morning  we had prayed to understand what our purpose in the community was. Right then, my purpose was to show this hurting mother the love of Jesus. It meant abandoning my fears, trusting for safety on an ATV driven by a nine-year-old and being ready to love this woman. My words may have been inadequate, but my presence was my ministry that day. She felt love from God and from me. The conversation was one of hope for the future.

That is our purpose in going to the North: to share the hope that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as our Savior and friend. The first Advent candle represents waiting. We wait with hope in our hearts. The pain, suffering, poverty and hopelessness our friends in the North experience make for very dark days for many of them. Our friends in “the South” also face many dark days. What a privilege it is to share God’s love in Christ Jesus with others. They need to know that Christ lived, died and rose again for their sake. I need to learn to be ready to do this, not just in my community in the North, but also in my community in the South. It is our hope in the reality of Jesus’ gift of forgiveness, new life and salvation that brings true joy, and that is at the centre of our happiness.

We pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for bringing hope to the world by coming to us as a baby. Help us to share this hope with all people who need to hear Your Good News.  Amen.

Written by Anke Berner
Volunteer Missionary to Grandmother’s Bay, Saskatchewan

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Waiting – Sunday, November 29th

“…so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”  Hebrews 9:28 (NIV)

Judy Knebel

Judy Knebel

Wait! How difficult that is for a world that lives in “now.” Yet, waiting is part of faith. People waited for centuries for the Messiah. Now, we wait for Jesus’ second coming. We have no choice but to wait. What we can choose is how we wait. We can wait:

EXPECTANTLY, knowing God is faithful and keeps His promises; TRUSTINGLY, confident that God’s plans are always for our good; PATIENTLY, knowing God’s timing is perfect; RESTFULLY and without worry, because God is almighty and deals with us in love; JOYFULLY, living in contentment and delighting in God’s love; and THANKFULLY, remembering God’s Gospel promises and constant presence in our lives.

God also waits patiently, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” LAMP’s VBS teams share His desire to bring people to faith. Volunteers tell First Nations people of God’s love, and how Jesus came to earth to sacrifice Himself to cover their sins. They proclaim Jesus’ resurrection, and His promise that believers will rise to live forever with God. They tell Jesus’ story, to show how defeat and despair can change to victory, joy, and hope. They go North, believing there is not one person God cannot save and transform!

How will you wait? Turn your waiting into a story that reflects God’s  love and victory. Pray God’s Light penetrates all darkness. Listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and follow His lead. There is much to be done before Jesus returns again.

We pray: Gracious Father, we stand in awe of Your great love. We praise Your perfect timing. Help us to use our time of waiting for Your glory.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Written by Judy Knebel
LAMP  Prayer-Partner