January 2024

Preparing for the Future           

The calendar is turning again and another year has fallen away. Some are indifferent. For others, it is a chance to change. Some may feel trapped in a a cycle where nothing changes. Still others feel more keenly the uncertainty and instability in our world as we step into a new year of unknowns.

We have much to learn from our Lebanese partners. They know firsthand what it is like to live with uncertainty and powerlessness. Inside our newsletter is a longer excerpt from their monthly letter. In it, Elie Haddad writes, “We do not plan for the future but rather we prepare for the future.”

Holding plans loosely is quite a thing for a leader to say, but it carries significant weight coming from Haddad. Secular business leaders are saying similar things as they reflect on adjusting to all the crises they’ve experienced over the past 20 years: global economic crises, pandemic, massive technological changes, and global conflict.

Being ready requires focusing on character, habits, health, and the health of an organization. It is not possible to have emergency plans in place for every conceivable crisis – and all the ones mentioned were largely unforeseen! We have to be the kind of people and the kind of church described by Haddad: faithful, trusting, prayerful, discerning, and ready to serve.

May God grant you the comfort, hope and the grace required for the challenges you are facing in the coming year, and joy in all of God’s goodness.

With love, Pastor Joel 


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