Mechanicsville, MD 20659 240-722-7977

Message and news update for May

“Care is not the same as responsibility” – these words came to my mind one day recently while I was driving down the road. As I started to consider what they meant, I realized that the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 to “Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you” – but it does NOT tell us to cast our responsibilities on Him! Why is it important to understand the difference?
I believe that as Christ followers, each and every day we are confronted with many “cares”:
A family member becomes sick…
We hear of a tragic accident or disaster…
We read news headlines about our nation’s leaders that cause us great concern…
An unexpected bill arrives in the mail…. and sadly, the list goes on and on….

We all have certain causes or issues that hit close to home and are high on our priority list of cares. They frequently feature in our prayers, stirring passions and even breaking our hearts! Often there is very little we can do personally about them, but they can build up and drag us down. Even when they involve a loved one who is suffering, we are often very limited in what we can do to help or change the situation. Our Heavenly Father knows that and so invites us to turn those worries and anxieties over to Jesus!

That doesn’t mean that we no longer care about them – just that we accept that we cannot fix them alone and so entrust them to Jesus’ care. We MUST learn to do this so that we are able to spend time each day handling our RESPONSIBILITIES! These are the priorities in our life that are just OURS (whether chosen or not!). If we don’t do a good job of handling them, they won’t get done – in which case either other people suffer, or our integrity suffers! No matter how tempting it is for us to become passionate and expend much energy or resources on issues that we care about, we must not do so at the expense of failing in our responsibilities.

Sadly, we have seen this at times even with church leaders – ministers spending so much time and energy with church activities that their own family suffers; or elderly parents spending their final months on earth alone because family members “had to” commit to help with other things they cared about. With technology and worldwide news today, our list of cares truly can grow bigger every day. Yes, we need to seek God to know how He wants us to help and do our part, but we should also be sure to continually “cast our cares on Him” as we pray for those issues, so that we can fully handle our responsibilities each day to the best of our ability. God understands this and I believe He wants us to trust Him to do His part, while we focus on doing ours – and to do this, we may have to withdraw to a quiet place (just as Jesus did) where we can meet with our Heavenly Father and “hand over” our cares to Him. I pray we can all learn to do this more and more!
Blessings, Shirley.

Pastor Sika in Togo – He shared a special prayer request recently because he recognizes that the orphans at the Joseph Project are indeed a long-term RESPONSIBILITY! Our original vision for the orphanage was to not only care for these children who had been abandoned or lost family members, but enable them to accomplish the plans God has for each of them so that they would be living testimonies to that whole area.

JP apprenticeThis photo shows Matthieu, who after leaving school, wanted to learn masonry. Thanks to a faithful supporter, he is in his 2nd year at technical school, but now needs to buy tools and equipment that will enable him to get practical experience. This will enable him to start supporting himself as well as help the JP ministry and others with construction. $1,000 is needed for him to buy what is needed and be able to get his diploma in 2025. We pray that God will provide for this special need in addition to the many other needs of the JP including the daily needs of the orphans, staff and widows; the schooling and apprenticeships; the ag project; and the JP church which is having a big impact on the village and surrounding area. Let’s pray that each of us can do “our” part as we stand with Pastor Sika and cast these cares on Jesus, trusting God to do His part! (Please contact me for information as to how to send donations to Pastor Sika).

Honore and ClarissePastor Honoré in Central African Republic – We are still in touch with Pastor Honoré as he continues with the ever-growing church, school and ministry at the CEERCA compound just outside the capital city of Bangui. We just heard that he is very sick and so we ask your prayers for him especially. We don’t yet know any details but know that our Heavenly Father does, so we pray and cast those cares on Him, trusting that Pastor Honoré will receive strength and healing soon to be able to continue his important ministry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.