B.A.S.I.C NEWSLETTER #171
|B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #171I Cor.. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.’
June 30, 2010
On August 14th the Burial of Pastor E.E. Essien, NCLC, Nigeria will take place. Pastor M. Ude will be present with our brethren for the worship and praise of our God who shows such love to us in Christ Jesus.
Anna was confirmed as a Lutheran back in the 1960’s. When she married, she and her husband moved to an area where there was no church. Even though many years passed, she held fast to what she learned from her Lutheran pastor. In a way, she was a Lutheran in exile all those years. She is now a widow.
On her first Sunday here she remarked several times to Pastor Maas how glad she was to find a church that taught just as Martin Luther taught, because Luther was faithful to the Scriptures.
Pastor Maas met with her and Ruth several times over the following months. One thing Anna shared was her sadness that so many children in her village were orphans due to AIDs. Even before she travelled to the U.S., she envisioned how different the future of her village could be if these children were to be raised in the Christian faith – specifically the confessional Lutheran faith. The blessings would manifest themselves on every level, most importantly on the spiritual level.
The more we talked, the more they wondered, “Why not?” And so we began to talk about what it would take to build a school and a church there. It did not take long to sense that this could be more than a dream!
Anna has a piece of property that she has donated for a site upon which to build a school and church. Their goal is for the school/church to be as self-sufficient as possible.
We invited Pastor Nathanael Mayhew, the CLC’s East Africa missionary, to preach for our Mission Festival. He met with Anna and prepared to visit her and her village on his November 2009 trip to East Africa.
With a view toward supporting her in the commencement of Christian instructions for the children of the village, Holy Cross sent with her pencils, sharpeners, erasers, etc. for Sunday School. She was given many CD’s of worship services. When Nathanael went to visit her in November, we sent along with him several boxes of Sunday School materials. She also received many copies of The Lutheran Spokesman, Bibles, etc.
Here are some quotes from Nathanael’s blog regarding his visit there: “We pulled into the beautiful Sagala property. You could easily tell that someone has a very green thumb and loves to work outside in the garden. The buildings are also well cared for and maintained. Upon our arrival, the yard fills with people. We are greeted by Anna and her son Eric as well as a group of young children. Introductions are made, while the children sing for us (in English!).”
When we arrived at the building site, “a tent had been set up and there was a group of about 50 people gathered there. Larry, Russ and I were each asked to participate in the planting of a tree as a dedication of the property to the LORD for His work. After this ceremony, we were introduced to the group, and we were given the opportunity to speak to the people. During the course of our stay there, the number of people continued to grow to somewhere in the vicinity of 100 people! We directed their attention to the importance of the Word of God as the primary responsibility of Christ’s Church and the need to know and hold on to the truth of His Word throughout our lives.”
“They have several young men that are interested in going to seminary so that they can be the spiritual leaders of the congregation here in the future. It is an exciting opportunity here!”
Their requests are simple –
1. Please help us start a Lutheran Church and School!
2. Please teach our young men to be church leaders!
They asked us because they want to be affiliated with those who preach and teach “just like Martin Luther!”
To this end, Holy Cross Ev. Lutheran Church in Phoenix, AZ has called its assistant pastor, Michael Gurath, to serve there up to one year (starting in August 2010).
This is being done in conjunction with the Mission Helper Program of the CLC; he will travel to teach in other locations as well.
Apples of Gold in a Setting of Silver (2)
THE WILL OF GOD
As He directs my life for me, I follow meek and lowly.
My God indeed In every need Doth well know how to shield me;
To Him, than, I will yield me.
What God ordains is always good. He never will deceive me;
He leads me in His own right way, And never will He leave me.
I take content What He hath sent; His hand that sends me sadness
Will turn my tears to gladness. TLH 521 st. 1-2
Think of the vast starry sky above and how we cannot comprehend even our vast galaxy of the Milky Way let alone the immensity that is beyond it. Now think of the One who created all this. This is a reminder from the outset that we cannot possibly understand even all that is before us, let alone the Creator’s mind and will. We need to maintain in our minds the positive that what He ordains is good and His will is holy.
We are naturally curious and so want to have disclosed to us what is secret and hidden. On the other hand we like to keep secrets and be one up on someone else. This kind of contradictory thinking is in man and not in our God who is good and holy. He discloses to us what we need to know. There is not in Him some desire to keep to Himself some things for ulterior purposes not good for us. He will disclose to us what is good for us and keep from us what is not good for us to know. We are the ones who have the perverse contradictions due to our sinful nature. The holy God knows our nature and works with us, wonder of wonders. We so often ask, “Why God?” “How long Lord…?” The God who is both holy and love lets us see and know what we can handle. We need to realize that even in some things if He told us, we would not understand. It is as if you try to fill a balloon with water. It holds only so much. What if you just kept filling it from a lake of water? It would very soon explode. Our good and holy God knows how much to fill our minds.
When we study the will of God, we are entering into areas beyond our understanding. A paradox is something beyond our understanding and yet is true and a fact. This is something that cannot be found out by the scientific method of investigation and trial and error. Think for instance of ‘eternity’. How can you proof it or discover it? You cannot. God has in His Word told us that He has put into man’s mind this concept, yet not that man may know everything about it. Ecc. 3:11 Remember the balloon that explodes and God is good to us. We know there is eternity, yet cannot understand it beyond what God has given us in understanding.
To compare our understanding to that of God’s is like comparing the flame of a match to the sun in the sky. The match flame is so small compared to the sun’ s fire. The heat put out by the match is tiny, while that of the sun warms our whole earth. And oh how briefly the match flame burns out, while the sun burns on from creation to judgment day.
Now we know God’s will in part. 1 Cor. 13:12 We see in a glass darkly. God reveals to us in His Word what He will and this for our good. May our attitude be, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy law is within my heart.” Ps. 40:8 May this joy extend beyond the revealed will of God to that which is hidden from us, rejoicing in God who is good and holy, always knowing best how things should be.
In this study we will be considering:
What God ordains is always good. His loving thought attends me;
No poison can be in the cup That my Physician sends me.
My God is true; Each morn anew I’ll trust his grace unending,
My life to Him commending.
What God ordains is always good. He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm, Though many storms may gather.
Now I may know Both joy and woe, Some day I shall see clearlyThat He hath loved me dearly. TLH 521 st. 3-4