“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Hebrews 13:8
Much has changed in the world, and in our lives, in a very short time. But some important things have not changed, and we celebrated that this past weekend. Certainly, it was a very unusual Good Friday and Easter Sunday as many observed “safer at home” orders and were unable to gather with their church families. I was thinking about how that first Easter must have been similar to our experience this year. While it was the greatest event in history, that first resurrection morning passed quietly and was largely unnoticed. All four gospels tell us that Mary Magdalene led her friends to the empty tomb early that morning. It was just those few women who were the first witnesses to the empty tomb, and then they hurried to the disciples to try to convince them a resurrection had occurred. Luke records it this way: “But they (the disciples) did not believe the women because their words seemed to them like nonsense.” (Luke 24:11)
The ministry of BrookLink continues in these unusual times. Please join me in welcoming Lindsey Hulstrom, our new Office Administrative Manager, who joined our team April 1. The BrookLink Board of Directors continues to meet monthly to strategize for the new future. One of my objectives in taking on this role was to relieve Lee Heyward as he continues as Lead Pastor at Elmbrook Church. Lee and I meet every week virtually to stay connected. The ministry of BrookLink continues to receive and process your gifts of support. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your commitment to this ministry.
Like you, we continue to prepare and pray for the day when this pandemic is behind us. We have invitations to return to Pakistan, Ethiopia, Armenia, China, India, and to Turkey, where we train Iranian pastors. We hear regularly from our global partners about the challenges and impact of Covid-19 on their ministries as well as on churches across the world. BrookLink has just sent a gift to help over 200 pastors in an undisclosed country with food and basic supplies after receiving an urgent plea from one of our partners. These faithful leaders depend on weekly services-now banned- for their financial stability. The people who they minister to are facing not only the risk of catching the virus, but are also in danger of starvation due to the shortage of basic food items as a result of lockdowns. This generous gift will reinforce the ministry we have had with these pastors, who are often the targets of persecution, in their communities. We received a word of thanks today saying “This is a great help in a time of great need to a group of great people who are serving the Lord faithfully in the country of [undisclosed].” Let’s pray for them, their families and their witness in a hostile environment. We are also dreaming about new delivery methods for BrookLink’s ministry training in the “new” world. Dream big with us!
The response to our new reality is varied. Some are anxious and fearful, while others are energized and excited. Personally, I look forward to seeing what God does in the Church of Christ through these unusual times. Regardless of your inclination, I encourage you to be hopeful and not lose heart. The truth of Easter remains – Christ is our hope in life and death! These truths have not changed. Enjoy a new hymn from the Getty’s that celebrate the unchanging fact that the ministry of our sovereign Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever…