I don’t know about you, but Mondays are unusually Monday-ish during this pandemic life we are living.
I just start out in somewhat of a funk on Mondays, and yesterday a text thread with my sister-in-grace (I have decided she is worthy of more than an in-law status but I don’t want to confuse anyone that it was my blood sister so…it was Sonja) got me focused on praise and worship and I added Spotify to my list of Covid downloaded apps.
As I continued on with a new playlist pumping through my earbuds, I found my eyes lifted up beyond circumstances to the faithfulness of our God and my attitude and mood and actions followed suit.
We do need to keep checking in on each other and helping to give a brother or sister (whether they be related by blood, marriage or the spirit … or all or none of the above) a hand to not get bogged down in the mire of fear, worry and discouragement these days.
One of the things I miss about teaching Sunday School is the fellowship of a group that meets regularly and checks on each other.
Thankfully many have continued to practice this without the help of a weekly meeting place in our class room, but now we are not even able to connect in the lobby. Still we can find ways to extend love and care for one another if we make the effort.
Another thing I miss is sharing news and information from various missionaries. One that we all loved to have visit our class was Jan Barczuk who works with Pioneer Bible Translators and is a close friend of our pastor and his wife.
Jan’s ministry reaches the Roma people in Eastern Europe as well as serving with his brother to host Holocaust Survivor Camps held in Poland. Bringing people who were treated inhumanely back and showing them healing and love.
As I read through his newsletter, I prayed and cried. The stories of the needs in both people groups – the Jewish survivors and the people of the Romani people are stories of persecution and discrimination and deep need for healing.
There is no one fighting for their equal rights in the countries where they have been scattered.
There were photographs showing less than desirable living conditions, wells that are filled with water that make the children sick and yet the joy as Jan and his team brought Jesus and Christmas to them. The smiling faces of children and adults being shown unconditional love.
While we complain of many things during these challenging times, it is humbling to read of those who never have even what we have now. Our visits to the grocery are so different now than they were two months ago. We are shocked at times by empty meat bins or shelves that are half stocked.
Perhaps God is allowing this nation of great abundance to gain a small glimpse into what most of the world knows as their daily existence.
In his newsletter, Jan shares some personal photos of how he and his wife are doing during this time. Simple meals cooked together. Simple games played. Even a bouquet of dandelions for his wife to brighten her day.
Unlike you and I, the concepts of shortages is not new to him.
Quarantine | ˈkwôrənˌtēn | noun | a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to the infectious or contagious disease are placed: many animals die in quarantine. verb [with object] impose isolation on (a person, animal, or place); put in quarantine. ORIGIN mid 17th century: from Italian quarantina ‘forty days’, from quaranta ‘forty’.
When I went to Walmart a few weeks ago I suddenly felt like it was Poland in 1981 when the stores were empty and you could not buy many essential goods needed.Jan Barczuk April newsletter
You and I have a lot of extra time these days, don’t we?
Perhaps you would consider taking a few minutes this evening and discover some work that is taking place in lives where inconvenience is not even a concept.
Because we are only inconvenienced when our lives are habitually filled with conveniences.
I highly recommend exploring more about this ministry and the people who are receiving the love of Christ through the work of Jan and his wife https://lincolnchristian.edu/about-us/stories/jan-barczuk/ where you can connect with Jan.
Sign up to receive his newsletters and perhaps consider supporting his ministry.
We have so much.
God is using this time of trial to make us aware of this and to encourage us to be generous towards others. We are only here for such a short time. We take nothing with us when we leave. And we will answer for how we used what we have been given.
America was blessed to be a blessing.
This time of isolation from those people and places and conveniences can serve to shape us more into the image of Christ <3