IRC North America Christmas Update
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:18
I’m sure you, like me, were shocked and saddened by the unspeakable evil, violence, pain & death perpetrated, primarily, against children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT last Friday. What an horrific tragedy! As “Opa” to 4.5 year old pre-kindergarten Kai, I was poignantly aware how I would feel had he been in that school. These kinds of incidences are becoming far to frequent. Our hearts & prayers go out to the families who suffered such enormous loss and to the community who must find a way to grieve, find comfort, process, heal and continue their lives.
Two of the Global Challenges we dealt with at the Transform World Summit in Bali, Indonesia last month related to the “4-14 Challenge” – children between those ages who are most receptive to the gospel and moral truth. The second is the “Orphan Challenge!” There are approximately 150 million orphans in the world, most without any kind of family, safety net or support. They often end up in gangs stealing, prostitution, petty and not-so petty crime and other forms of anti-social behavior in order to survive.
Just three days after returning I convened a meeting of godly leaders in Ventura County who surround and support John & Julie Dawson in their ministry to YWAM and the IRC. One of our members, Phil Graf, had just returned from Uganda where they are working with pastors, churches and community leaders. At the end of their journey they spent time in Kampala where there are thousands of orphans—street kids. He was able to meet some of them, see where they live and learn how they band together to survive. There is still considerable polygamy in Uganda and when a husband divorces a wife, he keeps daughters who become virtual slaves to the rest of the family. The boys are then kicked out of the house/family and end up on the streets. He found that these, mostly boys, are deeply hungry for love, acceptance, a family and home. He was then able to connect the church there to these kids in hope that faith and grace-filled solutions might be found.
In Romans 8 Paul writes: “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”
When God chose to reveal himself in human form he came as a baby, a child, a son. Jesus, which means, “He will SAVE!” I NEED a Savior! Simi Valley NEEDS a Savior! Ventura County NEEDS a Savior! California NEEDS a Savior! The United States NEEDS a Savior! The Nations and Peoples of the World NEED a Savior.
Since the Transform World Global Challenges Summit I’ve been part of several conference calls: TW International “Celebration Challenge” at 4 AM (Ugh); for TW USA; TW California; Prayer for Native Americans and another for the reconciliation of Jews & Gentiles. The TWGCS was the most mind/heart stretching and challenging event I’ve every participated it. The vision tastes sweet to the mouth but bitter to the stomach. One is immediately aware of his own mortality and smallness while at the same time aware of the Great Commandment and Great Commission and the GREAT and AWESOME GOD we serve. If I look at myself, my circumstances, my gifting and abilities, my finances I want to shrink back. If I look to GOD with whom “All things are Possible” and “Nothing is Impossible,” then faith begins to arise in my heart and I think, “can it be possible?” Can God really use me (and you) to Transform our World?
CREATION IS GROANING AND WAITING!
I could not and can not do what I’m doing without your love, encouragement, prayers and financial support! I’ve been to Indonesia – due to your generosity and prayers. Thank you SO much. However, I’m not sure I’ll be able to pay the rent this month. The fridge is almost empty and the cupboards are pretty bare. My car is aging and needing repairs. I need new tires among so many other “necessities.” All this is challenging me and my faith to the core of my being and I’m much better at being a “worrier” that a “warrior.” I have no idea how God will provide but I BELIEVE He will provide! What’s important is that I WANT to be part, even a small part, of this end time Awakening and am leaning heavily into Jesus. In Psalm 37 David wrote, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” God says, “I will never leave you or forsake you!” Many others are facing similar challenges due to unemployment, ill health or ministry challenges. I am standing with all you in prayer also, not only for provision but expanded faith and vision in the face of adversity.
Tonight “Rachel” is weeping for her children—in Newtown, Portland, Aurora, Native American Reservations, China (22 children attacked by crazed, knife-wielding person) and so many other places. Together we can pray, unite our hearts, minds, gifts and resources for this final push and make a huge difference – all to the Glory of Jesus, the Lamb who became the Lion of Judah, our Savior, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Peace on Earth—This is the meaning of Christmas!
Wishing you and yours a Very Merry & Blessed Christmas,Ron Archer North American Coordinator International Reconciliation Coalition To Contribute to this Ministry – Send a Check or Online Bank Payment to: IRC North America P.O. Box 941749 Simi Valley, CA 93094-1749 Memo: North America