Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ministry Update

WE MADE IT!

I find the week between Christmas and New Year's Day to be the most unique week in the year. Many use this time to reflect back at the significant events of the past 51 weeks. This year was not easy for many but there is also a sense of accomplishment. It reminds me of the attitude students have on their graduation day. You appreciate the look in their eyes that triumphantly declares, "We made it!"

It is also the logical time for the world to take a collected breath before jumping ahead into the New Year. Yes, there are gift returns to take care of and Christmas cleanup to be done but many people appreciate just a few days to catch their breath before watching the ball drop into an uncertain future. When I was a kid in northern Minnesota, I remember jumping off cliffs of abandoned iron ore pits that had partially filled with water. Instinctively, I always took a deep breath before leaping from the secure ledge and experiencing the thrill of flying into the unknown!

Here at Bethany Urban Development, we are also doing a bit of reflection. We can declare that, despite the difficulties, God's mercy endures forever. The situation continues to improve in the urban core. God's Kingdom has become a reality for many more people and I can't think of any time I've enjoyed serving the Lord more. However, despite the victories, we have a strong sense that 2009 will be much better. His love and Kingdom values burn with increasing intensity within our hearts.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

It has been a team effort and you have played an important part. Many of our partners have faithfully prayed for us this year. Still others have given financially and labored with us for the sake of others. I don't want to let go of 2008 without saying thanks to a few special friends who have been an incredible help and encouragement this past year. Because we are friends, I'll keep it on a first name basis:

Adam, Alison, Ani, Anna, Anton, Armand, Arnold, Art, Autumn, Barb, Betty, Bob, Brian, Brittany, Carol, Carolyn, Cathy, Cheryl, Christopher, Christy, Chuck, Connie, Dan, Darrell, Dave, David, Dean, Debbie, Deirdre, Diane, Divar, Donald, Doug, Eileen, Elaine, Gloria, Grace, Harold, Henry, Jacob, Jacque, James, Jamie, Jason, Jeff, Jennifer, Jim, Jimmy, Joan, Jodene, Joe, John, Jonathan, Jose, Juan, Judy, Karen, Kathie, Ken, Kristen, Larry, Leah, Lonny, Loraine, Louis, Luz Elena, Margy, Mark, Marte, Martha, MaryLynn, Matt, Melvin, Micah, Michael, Michelle, Mike, Molly, Nancy, Nathan, Nita, Noemi, Norris, Patty, Pauline, Peter, Randy, Rebekah, Rhonda, Ric, Richard, Robert, Roberto, Roger, Roland, Ronald, Rubens, Ruth, Scott, Sheila, Sheryl, Sonny, Starr, Steve, Terry, Tim, Vickie, Wayne, William, Willis, and Yvonne!

Finally, for everyone who has been connected to us this past year, I want to speak a special word of blessing into your life today.

May God grant you spiritual revelation of His awesome power and love. May you increasingly see the world through His eyes and be kept from the deceptive entanglements of this world's system. May you and your family victoriously fulfill your spiritual destiny in the Kingdom which cannot be shaken!