We hope you had a wonderful celebration of our Lord’s resurrection! This has been a very different celebration from any other year. I’m sure you also have been affected by Covid-19. It seems that no matter where you go in the world, this virus is affecting everyone! While it is a great inconvenience for us and we do feel stressed from not being able to do our normal activities, we are so blessed! We have more than enough of everything we need and we have Jesus and each other! It has been difficult to not spend this holiday with grandparents and extended family, but I feel this is helping to prepare us for living in Romania. We are learning to connect with video calls and social media more than usual. Our family enjoyed celebrating at home. We cooked special foods, colored eggs, and made a scavenger hunt for our children. We were also blessed to watch our church’s live stream.
One thing that stood out to me from the sermon was about how Mary Magdalene was clinging to Jesus after the resurrection and He had to tell her to stop. She was so thankful and grateful to see her Lord, and perhaps she was thinking, “Oh good, now everything can return to normal!” Many of us are longing for things to return to normal with the situation with Covid-19! We are wondering, when can we go to church again? When can we go to school again? When can we go to work again? When will we be able to see our extended families? When will things return to normal? Mary was longing for things to return to normal too. She was wanting to follow Jesus on earth, while He was in bodily form. She wanted to continue in the ministry like it was before the crucifixion and resurrection. She wanted to see Jesus do miracles again. She was clinging to Jesus, but He told her to stop. He had not yet ascended to the father. I’m sure this added to Mary’s confusion. She knew Jesus was alive, and at the moment that was all that mattered! As we know, Jesus did not continue His earthly ministry, but 40 days after He rose from the dead, He ascended into heaven. He had told his disciples that He had to go to the Father so that the Holy Spirit would come. The Holy Spirit empowered the disciples to share the good news “That Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He was raised the 3rd day according to the scriptures.” 1 Corinthians 15: 3-4. Ministry was different after the crucifixion and resurrection! The disciples had the Holy Spirit to help them understand the scriptures, to lead them and guide them, and to empower them to share the gospel! If you know Jesus as your Savior, you too have the Holy Spirit! The same power that raised Jesus from the grave is at work in you, transforming you to become more like Christ, teaching you through the scriptures, and empowering you to share the gospel with others! These uncertain times are a huge opportunity for we who know Christ to be a light and a blessing in our communities! We have the opportunity to share what we have and to offer hope to a hurting world!
There are frustrations, stress, and uncertainty. We do not know now what day we will be able to move to Romania. We have tickets to move for June 3rd, but currently not only is there a travel ban on flight from the USA to Europe, Romania is not allowing any foreign visitors. Please pray that we will be able to go at just the right time. We do not know if Friendship camp will be able to take place this year. We do not know when or if we will be able to share with churches here in the USA and invite them to partner with us in prayer. We do know that we serve a risen Savior! None of this was a surprise to Him! He is at work, drawing people to himself! We have an opportunity to be a part of the work He is doing! Although covid-19 has been stressful and inconvenient for most of us here in the USA, it has caused great problems in developing countries. Families that were struggling to get by before, are in dire need now. Would you consider giving a special offering to help those in dire need in the developing world? Please also pray for those in need and look for ways to help others in your own community. In times like these, we see the worst and best of humanity come out. Thank you for praying for our family as we make preparations for moving to Romania.