“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
A dear Lebanese pastor with whom we partner in ministry, wrote today: “Life in our land has become inexplicably difficult, hard and stressful since uprisings and riots erupted in October. Many companies had to close down. Tens of thousands found themselves jobless. At least 40% of our people are now recognized under poverty line. For one reason or another, our banking sector turned vulnerable and could not provide cash, as usual, to account holders, except for when it is coming as “fresh money.” This was more than we could handle. The forming of a new cabinet in January could not do much. Then Coronavirus pandemic came and put our towns and villages in a lockdown as probably many of you too are facing. It is so difficult and unbelievable to me to see our church obliged to close down its doors and to stop its services. We never had this happening not even in the dark days of the civil war.” (End quote).
How long will this lockdown last? Will the summer camp ministry be cancelled? And if the tottering Lebanese economy crashes, as seems likely, what then? My preferred options is the Rapture, but the Lord may be reviving His work and warning the lost.
During the past few months I have spoken in a number of churches in a farewell context. We have been encouraged and the Lord has used the occasion to encourage the pastors and people in some really sweet fellowship. We were also reminded of many incidents during these 43 years that showed us our labours have not been in vain.
Our Sydney church held three English services and one Arabic service Sunday to comply with the “not more than 100” in any group setting. Now that has been changed to a total lockdown. Please pray for wisdom for our pastor and team as they seek the best format for a robust online ministry. Thank God we are facing this challenge with a unified congregation.
Sydney Bible Baptist College will also be looking for online answers to keep classes going in some form. Today’s technology does offer some interesting options.
We are praying earnestly for our churches, pastors and missionaries who are impacted by this global tandemic. How comforting to know that our God is in control and will never leave or forsake us! “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”