Today is the first day of 2021, and I’m relaxing here with the family in Concord California. It’s been a wonderful time to get together for Christmas and New Year. Our kids are still enjoying spending time together with their cousins and interacting with their uncles and aunties. The mahjong and card games are a hit. As we look forward to 2021, we are excited to see what God has in-store for each of us and for us as a family. Last year was a difficult year for many people. People have loss loved ones due to the covid19 virus, and many people have loss their employment, and in some cases, loss their livelihood. The world has been impacted in a dramatic way. Imagine the world coming to a screeching halt. Both New York Times Square and the Eiffel Tower tourism sites stood totally empty. Only businesses that are considered ‘essential’ remained open. Indeed, 2020 was certainly a year to remember.
In the midst of all of this, The Salvation Army in the Cascade area ramped up its efforts to help those in need, especially those who have been impacted by the pandemic. For us in Portland for a couple of months, we mobilized our efforts and did a drive through at three different sites a week to implement a drive thru food giveaway. Many people donated food, and many volunteers came to help. We served over 34K people and prayed with over 700 people. We also activated our emergency disaster services (EDS) to help with the fire evacuees in our State. I've never experience overlapping EDS work. It was certainly tiring time, but a fulfilling one. We came to give and to serve, but in return, we got so much back in terms of spiritual inspirations, and seeing gratitudes and smiles from our fellow mankind who were helped in a practical way. This year has taught me a few things of how we can to be stretched and not snap: it includes mental toughness with self-talk, learning to pace myself, and seeking to experience God each day.
It was good to see hope in the midst of fear. It was good to see God’s people praying for one another in the midst of the storms of life. It was good to see neighbors reaching out and helping each other out! It reminds me of an aftermath of a hurricane. People are more concern for their neighbors and are willing to help. Through social media, it was great to see people praising the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! For example, Sean Faucet and his team went across the country and did worship concerts. Many people came to these events, and many were impacted for the Kingdom of God. Sean ministry continues into 2021 with his ‘Let Us Worship’ concerts. When our government says to close church and stay home, it was great to see the Church stand up and seek creative ways to continue in our Lord’s Great Commission! For us believers, it's not an option, it's a mandate from our King! It reminded me of the words of Jesus, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Year 2021 will be unique in its own way. Many things will probably intensify: Perhaps, the government will tighten its grip on power and implement more laws to control its citizens. Perhaps, the covid19 pandemic will be exploited to gain certain globalist’s agendas. Perhaps, vaccinations will be mandatory in order to enter an establishment or to use certain services. For sure, more churches and more businesses will shut its doors. For sure, many people will fall through the cracks and die because we couldn't help them. Ultimately - for sure, many people will die without knowing their Savior - our Lord Jesus. Our days will become darker and darker if we (the children of God) disengage from our world, put our lives on neutral, and become like everybody else.
The good news, however, is that our God is always same yesterday, today and forever. Our God never changes, always faithful, and always keeps His Promises! So how do we move forward in these uncertain and turbulent times? We must stand on God’s Word and trust in Him always! We are like a sailor facing a strong wind - what do we do? We face the wind, adjust our sails and sail forward. A surfer is not intimidated by the incoming wave; he or she stands up on their board and ride the wave. The bigger the wave, the greater their experience will be. One day, they can share their story. We have a story to share as well. Our stories will be how we stood on God’s Word and trusted in Him in 2021 and beyond. In the movie titled, 'The Avengers: Endgame' the heroes face a formidable foe who is determined to destroy humans, this is where Captain America said, "Whatever it takes." For us, this means that no matter the foe, we will not retreat and face them. Let us face the music my friends, and let us live our lives for the Glory of God! ........Whatever it takes!