Jesus, Hope of the Nations...
"Jesus, hope of the nations...
Jesus, comfort for all who mourn...
You are the source of heaven's hope on earth."
(Song: 'Jesus, Hope of the Nations' by Brian Doerksen)
As I have been reflecting on those here in Ukraine who are suffering, those dealing with traumas or losses, the word 'hope' comes up. More than anything they need hope...but not just hope that things will be better, or hope that their hearts will be healed of the pain they carry...but they need to know the Everlasting Hope...the Hope who will be with them through all their suffering...the Hope that assures them that Light overcomes darkness...the Hope that one day they will be freed from this body and living in the eternal presence of God.
Right now we celebrate the birth of that Eternal Hope...now alive with us...Jesus.
A year ago, as I welcomed a small group of friends on Christmas Eve in Florida, I'd have never imagined that I'd be doing the same this year, but in southern Ukraine! Seven months after my arrival to Kherson, I have the honor of celebrating the birth of our Savior...our Hope...alongside our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.
This Hope that we celebrate is beyond psychological principles that explain man (and woman) in our Fallen state.
This Hope is beyond meeting temporary physical needs but meets deep heart and soul needs.
This Hope outlasts, outshines, outpowers any war or threat of terrorism.
This is my Hope this Christmas...
...that people would put their hope in the Only Hope... for life, joy, peace and purpose on this side of Heaven...literally heaven on this sin-filled, corrupted, suffering, yet redeemed and hope-filled earth.
As you celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Hope, remember Ukraine in your prayers...she needs the hope that only Jesus can bring.
Here in Ukraine, I will have the honor of celebrating Christmas twice, once on the 25th ('new' Christmas) and once on the 7th of January ('old' Christmas)! Christmas was removed in Soviet times, with New Year's being the bigger celebration with the feasts, the gifts, the reflection on the new year. Christmas programs are just starting. So, in the church here in Ukraine, Christmas truly purely is about Jesus' birth alone and celebrating Him. I really like that.
Pic: At a New Year's Concert. This young pianist and his family are missionaries working with orphans here in southern Ukraine.
Sneak Peak of "Among the Nations" in 2015...coming soon!
If you would wish to bless me this Christmas from afar, a gift to this healing ministry would be a beautiful way to invest in bringing hope to the nations. (Your tax-deductible gift will be received by Ripe for Harvest World Outreach.) Thank you!