Summer is here so swap out those winter boots for a pair of comfy flip flops. Winter feels like a distant memory at this point, so it’s time to dust off your picnic blankets, pack a snack and head to the park with your family. Even the nights are warmer, so this is the perfect season for stargazing.

But wait, are you wondering whether the Spring and Summer months will bring some kind of break from the COVID-19 coronavirus? Well, if transmission of this virus does go down after early June, it’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity that could make a difference. And that may include not only the humidity outdoors but also the humidity in indoor locations like the grocery store, the hospital, and your home.

Whatever your summer plans are, Feed the Need Missions will continue to serve and be there for you. Our prayer is your family stays safe and healthy this summer.

It’s an uncertain time for so many of us. Illness, social distancing, job loss, new school protocols, pay cuts, lost loved ones … this list goes on. Now, more than ever is the time to hit our knees in prayer. Prayers are needed for our kids, our schools, our healthcare system, our families, our government, our country, our world…and moms. As we get closer to Mother’s Day let’s pray specifically for our moms.

Heavenly Father, Our moms are tired. You see the demands of their days. You know the demands of their family and of their work. And Jesus, You hear the cry of their heart. You know the exhaustion of mind, body, and spirit’s more intimately than even they know.

Jesus, I ask that you revive them right now. We know you give power to the faint, and increase strength to those who have no might.

Give them rest, Father — physical, emotional, and spiritual — so they can serve and love more abundantly. Your Word says to come to you, all who are weary and you will give them rest. Give them your yoke and wrap your loving arms around their soul, for their burden is light.

Help the lovely moms to learn from you, Jesus – you know the need to be alone and rest. Now Lord, help the moms to make time for this and recognize the opportunities you’ve provided.

Father, I thank you for your love and understanding and I put my trust in you right now. I thank you for your promises and praise you for your goodness!

In the peaceful name of Jesus, Amen.

Without Easter, there would be no hope of heaven. Without the hope of heaven, there would be no repentance, no personal transformation, and no attempt to follow biblical principles. The world would be in chaos and darkness. Right now we may feel the world is in chaos and darkness but Jesus’ death and resurrection means we can be reborn, to live better, to do better and to shine light into the shadows of darkness.

“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.’’’ Matthew 28:5-6

So Cheers to new beginnings! We may not know what exactly is coming but we have faith the size of a mustard seed that God is proving himself to us. Be willing to let go and let Him have his way, “come and see the place where he lay.” God doesn’t want us to take matters in our own hands He sent His son for us. Either we are going to trust him or not. So let Him have his way in your life this Easter. Don’t allow the enemy to hold you back.

Let us pray for you this Easter season during this challenging time. Leave us a comment about how we can pray for you.

Happy April and Happy Easter!

by Michael Warden, Board Member

Anytime we are faced with widespread suffering, the first question that always comes up is “Where is God in all of this?” The good news is that the answer remains that God is where He always has been, on His throne, and in complete control.

At first, this can seem disheartening. If bad stuff can happen, even when God is in control, why should I trust God? But consider the reverse. If God were incapable of stopping bad things from happening, would that make you feel better or worse about the situation?

The reality is that we as believers can feel confident through hard times precisely because we know that our God will use this situation for our good and His glory.

Disease and Death Enter the World

Let’s back up. Scientists believe Coronavirus first infected humans in a market in Wuhan, China, but where did this virus come from, spiritually speaking?

God did not create the world for death and suffering. After God had finished making Eve so that Adam would not be lonely, Genesis 1:31 says:

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (ESV)

But Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3, and through that sin, we see that death and suffering enter the world. We were not made to separated from the ones we love, or to suffer through painful disease, and so the emotional and spiritual tolls are often as great as the physical ones.

God Uses Suffering for Our Good and His Glory

But God, being all-powerful and all-knowing, did not just leave His children to suffer in vain. The pattern in scripture is clear. He is Lord, even in our sufferings. We can see the promise made in Romans 8:28, among other places.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)- Romans 8:28

But this promise is not idle. Repeatedly throughout scripture, God fulfills His purposes for the good of His people through trying times. In Genesis, Joseph is sold into slavery, sent to Egypt, only to redeem His people by leading Egypt through a tremendous famine. In the end, Joseph declares:

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. (ESV) – Genesis 50:20

In Job, God allows Satan to take everything away from Job but his life. His possession and his children are destroyed. In the end, Job confesses:

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (ESV)- Job 42:2–6

In this case, God restores Job’s family and possessions to him, and, in fact, doubles them, but more importantly, Job trusts God through all of His suffering, and through that trust, it is counted righteousness to Him through Jesus Christ.

We could take nearly endless other examples of suffering from the Bible to make similar points, from Jonah, to Paul, but the most obvious example is Jesus Himself. Through Jesus’ suffering, God reconciled the world to Himself. Jesus’ death on the cross was not Satan’s defeat of God, as the men on the road Emmaus wondered (Luke 24:13-17), but God’s defeat of Satan once and for all (John 19:30- “It is finished.”).

For the Unbeliever

The reality is that the world is like this, full of disease, suffering, and death, whether you believe there is a merciful God on the throne or whether you believe that this is also just random chance. The difference between the two outlooks is whether the reality of the current world will produce hope or dismay.

For the unbeliever, suffering and loss in the only time you believe you have could easily lead to dismay. This world, you believe, is as good as anything ever gets. If it’s not so good to you, what hope might you have for something better?

For the believer, however, we are included in the promise of Romans 8:28. All things work together for our good, whether in this life or eternity, and this world is the worst we must endure. All things will be made new.

If you have not yet put your faith in Christ, this is an opportunity to enter into His promises. Ask us how.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (ESV)- Revelation 21:3–5

How are we as Christians called to respond?

As believers, because we can be confident in the promises of God even in the midst of suffering, we do not have to respond from a place of fear. We are free to demonstrate God’s love for us, by loving others. Ministering to people’s physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs continues to be our response.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (ESV)- Romans 12:15

 

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. (ESV) – John 21:15–17

 

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (ESV)- James 1:12

Hard to believe, but this year marks our 10th anniversary. This has been a deeply gratifying and rewarding experience and we are grateful to God for His call upon our lives. While in some ways Feed the Need Missions is still just a beginner in ministry, there have been many lessons learned during our first decade together.

Ministry makes huge demands upon our staff team and family. There is always something more to do, and because of all the busyness, it is often prayer that gets left out. This is unfortunate and can be quite damaging over time. Therefore, we must ensure that prayer is built into the daily rhythms of our lives. We are very thankful for people like you that intentionally commit to lifting our ministry and our families up in prayer, along with family members that do the same. Ministry is war and without prayer we can potentially be headed for trouble.

As we continue the journey, we ask that you continue to pray for us. No doubt, there will be times of trial, disappointment, setbacks, and who knows what else, but we must persevere in the strength that only Christ can provide. The words of Paul are especially helpful: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

We thank you for your prayers and doing ministry with us for the last decade.

While we are definitely called to work with the Spirit of God so we might be more and more conformed to Christ, God must take the first step in order to guarantee this conformity. For as 1 John 4:19 tells us, “we love because he first loved us.” It is the effectual love of God that first changes our hearts in order to make us capable of love, and it is His example of love that reminds us again and again of our need to love other people.

1 John 4:19 is the verse Feed the Need Missions focuses on. We are to love our neighbors and be a support to others. We simply do that by giving a hot meal, praying for people, and building relationships.

This Valentine’s holiday, may you remember the sacrificial love that God gives us. Be reminded of “what Jesus would do” with those around you and remind yourself of the capable love that God gave us.

The New Year can often bring a mixed bag of emotions and memories for many of us. Some may have just experienced the best year ever and look forward to an even greater one looming ahead. Others may have just trudged through one deep struggle after another. The fresh calendar year brings desperate hope for things to be better, with an ache for the still-fresh wounds to slowly begin their process of healing.

Whether you’ve just walked through the greatest year of your life, or are incredibly glad to see this one finally over, one truth still rings clear amidst it all. You are not alone. Not ever.

Our God is a “with us” God. On the heels of the celebration of the birth of our King, that reminder has the power to carry us right into a fresh, new start. He is Immanuel, God with us. And though things and people around us shift and change, our God never changes.

In 2020 pray for His Spirit to lead each staff member every step of this New Year, and to guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire Him above all else. Also pray for wisdom for His strength and power to be constantly present within us. And we ask that you pray that He’d keep us far from the snares and traps of temptations. That He would whisper in our ear when we need to run, and whisper in our heart when we need to stand our ground.

We thank you for your prayers! May you have a blessed and God honoring New Year.

A family who was going to go out of town for Christmas loaded up their SUV with their luggage, took the dog over to a neighbor’s house, entered the coordinates in their GPS and had even recorded a CD with songs for the road. Everything was ready, and they were so relieved to finally be in the car. They were halfway down the street when the woman suddenly cried out to her husband, “We forgot the baby!”

To me that is a picture of Christmas. We trim our trees. We make our list and check it twice. We shop ’til we drop. We go to endless Christmas productions and parties. Then it dawns on us that we forgot the baby: the baby Jesus, the one whom Christmas is all about.

It is possible to celebrate Christmas and forget all about Christ. It is possible to lose Jesus at Christmas. It is possible in this celebration of Jesus’ birth to forget all about Jesus. Thankfully, even when we forget about him, he never forgets about us.

Really, the story of the birth of Jesus is the greatest of all stories. The Bible tells us, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.” (Galatians 4:4 NLT).

The Christmas story is a factual, historical event. It still has all the pathos and magic and pageantry of the best Fairy Tales, yet this is a real story. All other stories we’ve heard are, at best, pale imitations of the greatest story ever told. The story of the birth of Jesus started in Heaven and unfolded on Earth.

When the angel appeared to the shepherds and announced, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), the angel effectively was saying, “Listen, Earth. Augustus Caesar is not the savior of the world. Jesus is. The savior of the world is not in a palace in Rome. The savior of the world is wrapped in strips of cloth in a manger in Bethlehem.”

Jesus is the most influential person in human history. It has been said that history swings on the hinge of a stable door in Bethlehem. God came to this earth as a baby to die an agonizing death to ransom us from an eternal death sentence. The shadow of the cross lay over the beauty of that first Christmas night. This child was born to die so that we might live.

When we look back at the first Christmas story, we need to remember that the real Christmas tree wasn’t decorated with lights. The real Christmas tree was a cross that Christ hung on. The Bible says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:13 NKJV). Jesus died on a tree – on a cross – for the sin of all of the world. In fact the Bible says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13 NKJV).

That is why red is the color of Christmas – not because Santa wore red or because we wrap our presents in red paper or attach red bows to holly wreaths or put red bulbs on our trees. Red is the color of Christmas because it is the color of the blood that was shed from the cross for each and every one of us. Jesus died for the sins of the world so he could make available to us the greatest of all gifts.

May you remember the true reason why we celebrate Christmas!

Samuel F Pugh wrote a very popular prayer that many know and use. I believe this prayer is how we need to pray everyday. God is so gracious and loving and gives us so abundantly. We are beyond blessed with so much, while unfortunately, some have so little. Why? I don’t have the answer other than we all have hardship of some kind.

“O God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry. When I have work, help me to remember the jobless. When I have a home, help me to remember those who have no home at all. When I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer. And remembering, help me to destroy my complacency, bestir my compassion, and be concerned enough to help, by word and deed, those who cry out for what we take for granted. Amen.”

This Thanksgiving as you gather together remember those who have little. Share your blessings together with your friends and family and “Give thanks in all things.” Pray with us and for us as we continue through November collecting Gobble Kits and distributing to those in need. Pray that lives will be changed through the Gobble Kits and that every need will be met this Thanksgiving Holiday.

We are always thankful for you!

Fall is here and we ask that during this time of harvest and Thanksgiving that you pray for us as we enter into this new season. Not only the season of fall but the season of Thanksgiving.

God of the seasons, there is a time for everything; there is a time for dying and a time for rising. We need courage to enter into the transformation process.

God of autumn, the trees are saying goodbye to their green, letting go of what has been. We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk. Help us to let go when we need to do so.

God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on the ground, our lives have their own patterns. As we see the patterns of our own growth, may we learn from them.

God of misty days and harvest moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives. We always need to recognize your power-filled presence. May we gain strength from this.

God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender. We must wait for harvest in faith and hope. Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.

God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future. We yearn for insight and vision.

God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons.

God of life, you believe in us, you enrich us, you entrust us with the freedom to choose life. For all this, we are grateful

We praise you in all things!