Dear Friends in Christ,
The second week of April was a challenging one for our family and thousands of others whose loved ones were affected by the earthquakes in Kyushu. For those of you who prayed for Hannah, for all of the people of southern Japan, and for our family, thank you. Your kindness and support in a time of trial and high anxiety is such a comfort.
I have often thought about how difficult it must be to deal with adversity or trauma without the love of the Lord and the care of the Christian community. At times someone will say to me, “I can be a Christian without coming to church.” While it is certainly true that one can believe in Christ without attending church, there is no substitute for the fellowship of believers when one is in need of encouragement. At its best, a Christian congregation reflects the confidence we can have in Christ that there is nothing which will separate us from the love of God. When a congregation is healthy, the love of God is shared with those whose lives are difficult, both within and outside the body of Christ.
Praise God for the gift of believers who know how to bring hope and healing.