by Leanne Purvis
Perhaps you’ve received news that changes everything as you know it. An expected health diagnosis, death of a loved one, an inheritance, expecting a baby, or a pay rise. Things can change in an instant and life take a new twist. I love that through it all God is with us, growing and loving us. I love that the Bible is full of wonderful examples of how God has been there for others that we can relate to too, thousands of years later.
Take mother Mary for example. I love the way she feels blessed to give birth to God’s son, when in fact it could mean a death sentence, or at the very least make her an outcast. Yet she has faith God will provide and protect what He has promised, and sends people to support her, like a righteous fiancé and cousin in a close situation. Then, around her due date she has to travel many kilometers to a destination where the only place she can rest is a stable. We don’t know where their families are, maybe Joseph is her “midwife”. Her visitors are humble shepherds, checking out what the angels have just shared, and wise men who have journeyed for ages bringing gifts for a special King, guided by a bright star. Just the encouragement and finances Mary and Joseph would have needed for life on the move, first in Egypt, then in Nazareth to avoid danger. In fact, it is about 30 years before Jesus starts his ‘official’ ministry, knowing that that in itself is a death wish.
Tonight it is Christmas Eve. I find myself unexpectantly in hospital, remembering Mother Mary, and am grateful I am receiving the help I need for Critical stage Dengue Fever. Seems I got help before it was too late (after all, I thought ‘fever’ was an important symptom of Dengue Fever!). My husband and I have just moved to South East Asia, knowing in so many ways it is a health risk. Yet like Mary, I come bringing ‘Good News that will cause great joy for ALL the people’(Luke 2:10). Knowing the risks, and coming despite of them. Why? Because Jesus said so ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mat 28:19,20). After a few short term trips we had fallen in love with the people and saddened they hadn’t had the same opportunities to hear about Jesus. Yet the task can seem impossible, with a very different culture and language. But we do not work alone. God provides just the right people at the right time, and we all work together from various cultures, to share the good news of great joy for all people. News that changes everything….
Leanne and her husband Alan recently moved to Cambodia. Their goal is to encourage the local churches and pastors, assisting with discipleship and church planting. Along with other WEC members, they aim to work particularly in areas that have not had an opportunity to hear the freeing good news of Jesus’ sacrifice, restoring relationships to have life with the Father. For more details and to subscribe to their newsletters, prayer letters or to follow them on facebook please check out their website https://www.reachingcambodia.info
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