In this season we join with Christians around the world to celebrate Christ’s first coming. God became flesh and shed his blood so we ‘flesh and blood’ folks may share eternally in His resurrection life. “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness” (Colossians 2:9-10). This is our Advent hope, as we anticipate Christ’s return to fulfill his promise and make all things new.
Meanwhile we labour on, facing the challenge of COVID-19, which due to variants continues to be with us. Through the restrictions and uncertainties, we remain grateful for being able to meet virtually with the leadership of our partner seminaries and with stakeholders, a practice which will certainly be fused into the post-COVID ‘new normal’. But we also look forward to when we can augment these meetings with in-person face-to-face visits.
And we take courage in these words of God:
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength. Isaiah 40:28-31
Our Lord has continued to renew our strength. We are excited to share with you two new developments, which you will hear more about in the coming months.
First, Overseas Council Australia received a donation of over $4.3 million, enabling the Overseas Council Network (that reSource is affiliated with) to help our partner seminaries around the world expand their capacity for delivering theological education via on-line technologies. You may recall that when COVID-19 came and all seminaries and Bible colleges were shut down, the Shoulder to Shoulder (STS) strategy was launched to help a select number of schools survive. By God’s grace these schools have not just survived – they are beginning to thrive.
And so, a new strategy has been developed, Local Online: A Global Strategy (LOGS), which is an expansion of STS. We are prayerfully seeking the Lord to provide an additional $5 million for LOGS so that in the next three years over 200 key Bible colleges and seminaries will be able to deliver quality online education, providing access for training to tens of thousands of pastors (many with only grade school education) who would otherwise have never been able to engage in multi-year formal education.
Second, what we can only attribute as a move of the Spirit, a couple, in prayerful response to the sight of Christian persecution on the news, has come forward with a matching gift of $400,000 over 3 years (a potential of $800,000), to support the training of pastors and faculty who feel called to minister and reach out with the love of Christ in regions of the world like Indonesia, Pakistan, the Middle East and North Africa. We are again asking the Lord to send others who would feel called to invest in what is being called the Seed of Peace Student Sponsorship program.
God has been surprising us at reSource, like on that first Christmas when God caught the world by surprise. May He continue to show up in our lives in unexpected ways. “Joy to the world, the Lord has come.”
JOYOUS CHRISTMAS AND BLESSED NEW YEAR!