Mechanicsville, MD 20659 240-722-7977

Christmas message and news

No matter how familiar we are with the Christmas story, it is so wonderful to read and hear it again each year – whether doing so personally or participating in a church service! I think it is another amazing proof of how GREAT and ALIVE our God is – and He is forever giving us new revelations of his Word and his majestic power! Our pastor, Pastor Todd Crofford, taught last week about the coming of the Magi to worship the newborn king. Despite the famous Christmas carol, there were most likely far more than 3 people in the group as they traveled over 1,000 miles probably from Persia (“present day Iran”). Not actually “kings” they were most likely pagan priests who studied astrology – certainly not Jews, yet definitely “chosen” by God!!

We can only imagine the actual details of all their thoughts, preparations and challenging journey! All that they went through because of a strong conviction! Of course, they went to Herod’s palace seeking the baby – only to be told by the Jewish religious leaders that the birth had been prophesied to take place in the tiny village of Bethlehem. They immediately traveled the last 6 miles and joyfully found the precious baby in very humble surroundings – nothing like they had expected, yet they surely experienced a “knowing” that he was “the one”.

I believe that God was showing us that His Son had come into the world to be the Savior of ALL mankind – not just the Jewish people, but even far away pagans who believed in astrology and magic! The story recounts how the news was told to poor, illiterate shepherds; learned scientists; educated religious leaders, and even a king! Yet who believed and actually responded by going to find the prophesied newborn? The answer is: those whose hearts were open and eager to risk everything to find the Savior! The shepherds left their flocks….the Magi risked their lives…. but the religious leaders who already knew about the prophesied king to be born in Bethlehem couldn’t be bothered to travel 6 miles to find him!

How many people today have heard about Jesus, but for whatever reason, cannot be bothered to take those few steps to actually meet him? We pray that this Christmas season, those who are still lost will open their hearts to receive the glorious news that Jesus came to earth for THEM – and respond by pushing aside all the distractions and reservations and FIND JESUS! Have a blessed and joyful Christmas and carry the Good News with you each day as we enter another New Year! Shirley and Gerald.

Here is a photo of Shirley with our Maryland family, enjoying a special Christmas light display in a local park. Special thanks to all who have been praying for 8-year-old Lily who is still on oxygen but doing much better PTL!

Family enjoying Christmas lights

Pastor Sika in Togo – Since early November, Pastor Sika has been suffering terribly with a badly infected finger. The infection spread so much that he had to have several surgeries, and finally had part of his finger amputated in an American-run hospital in Central Togo in order to save his hand. He has finally just been released to go home and has less pain so can sleep at last at night! Donations have been given to cover half of the medical expenses and we pray the Lord will soon send in the rest. Thankfully his team continues with the ministry, although the situation in Togo remains difficult after all the flooding. We pray that Pastor Sika will be feeling better soon and be able to visit the Joseph Project at some point over Christmas. We send our greetings and love to him and his family, to his ministry team, and to all at the JP orphanage and church, where several widows and local children are also helped by the ministry there.

Pastor Sika recovering from finger amputation

Pastor Honoré in Central African Republic – He sent us some photos recently of clothing and school supplies being distributed to 10 of the orphans in the CEERCA congregation. This was a successful new initiative at the church as all the items were donated by other local Christians! What a big step forward it is when a local church can move from just receiving needed items, to the local believers donating them to help others! We pray their plans for the Christmas celebrations will go well and help many lost people there find Jesus.

Orphans receiving gifts

Church congregation preparing for gift distribution

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