If there has been one phrase repeated by many as 2020 exited the stage, it was “good riddance!” It was indeed a difficult year for so many as the COVID-19 pandemic raged across the globe, claiming thousands of lives and disrupting economic livelihoods. We endured government-mandated shutdowns for a good portion of the year, as well as the political turmoil of an election year. And that was only here in the United States.
Life was beyond difficult in the former Soviet Union, where our brothers and sisters in Christ faced numerous challenges related to the pandemic. Fighting continued to sporadically break out in the eastern Ukraine war zone, and a new military conflict erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. In Belarus, massive protests against the authoritarian government began after the August presidential election there, and the government responded with a severe crackdown that drew international attention. And those were only a few of the many troubling events that took place in a very troubling year.
Yet in the middle of all the trouble, our faithful Lord and Savior shone a bright light of hope that only He can shine. His people—driven by His loving compassion and supported through your faithful giving—stepped into the storm of events with food, medicine, warm clothing as needed, and the Good News of the Gospel that so many desperately needed to hear. The global media rarely cover good, joyful news, so it is up to us as followers of Christ to share it far and wide.
Lives are being changed. Needy people are being helped. The broken-hearted are being comforted. New believers are being baptized and welcomed into the family of God. The Gospel is being proclaimed, and new links in His eternal chain of grace are being forged. The Lord continues to build His church as He promised.
And the great wonder of it all is that He graciously allows you and me to be a part of His great work. What a glorious way to begin 2021!
For our Savior,