In May, while attending the Atlantic Regional conference in Nova Scotia, I was asked by one of the attendees, “What is one of the challenges you face in your work with FAIR?” As I reflected on that question for several days afterward, the best answer I could come up with was this: One of the hardest parts of FAIR’s work is how frequently, and at times suddenly, we hear the sad stories of the impacts that global circumstances have on people.
For example, a few weeks after we launched our Bread for All – Sudan mini-appeal, we learned that a new civil war had broken out between two rival factions. The resulting chaos was only one more blow to a country that had already suffered greatly, and this broke my heart. In times like these, I find Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:4-14 comforting, despite their warnings.
Jesus shares warnings about the coming of wars, famines, earthquakes, and persecution of those who follow Him. But He also encourages us to stand firm to the end of these challenges and to look forward to the day that the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations. Jesus is not surprised by these challenges, in fact, they often represent opportunities for us to extend the love of Christ in word and deed to the world.
Reflecting on the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year
One of the things that helps the FAIR team stand firm through the challenges we see and face is reflecting on God’s goodness. As we come to the end of the Fellowship’s fiscal year, it’s a great opportunity to look back at the projects, programs, and ministries FAIR’s donors are supporting, and how they have impacted the world in the name of Christ.
Stronger Together/Bread for All
Fellowship International missionaries: Bechara and Roula Karkafi
I recently had the opportunity to visit with a Lebanese pastor who had come to faith from a Muslim background. His community is filled with distrust towards Christians. Through the ministry of Bechara and Roula Karkafi, he was encouraged, equipped, and resourced to patiently demonstrate the love of Christ. He has helped bring reconciliation, and now people in his community are finding hope in Jesus.
Although I’m grieved to hear of the conflict in Sudan, I’m grateful that we already had plans in place to empower the local church to provide food and medicine through the Bread for All - Sudan mini-appeal.
Out of the Waiting Room/#WithoutWater
Fellowship International missionaries: Jesh and Julie Thiessen
In Madagascar, Jesh and Julie Thiessen are serving at the Good News Hospital. This teaching hospital provides surgical training for medical students and discipleship training to equip them to be mission-minded surgeons in their communities. Through the #WithoutWater appeal, FAIR donors helped dig wells and provide a sustainable water source for the hospital during one of the driest years yet. Read FAIR’s recent update to learn more.
Together for Freedom
Partner Organizations: BridgeNorth and International Justice Mission
Ukraine Refugee Crisis
Fellowship International missionaries: Ben and Krista Taylor
Although the response to support the Ukraine Refugee Crisis has slowed, FAIR continues to receive enough donations to support the work of a local Polish church located on the border with Ukraine as they care for refugees and provide humanitarian aid.
Through the careful provision of both physical and spiritual care, Fellowship International missionaries are helping to preach the Kingdom of God around the world just as Jesus said would happen. These are just a few examples.
So, let’s not be surprised when we hear stories of earthquakes, famines, wars, or rumours of wars. I pray that we would be a people marked by our hopeful response, led by the knowledge that Jesus is the Lord of all creation, the King over everything, and that the Kingdom of God is bringing peace to the whole world.
Dear Jesus, we pray for You to renew our faith in You each day. Fill us with hope to bring the Good News of Your Kingdom to the world as we hear new stories of loss and pain. Help all Christians bring care to both the physical and spiritual needs that people have, for Your Kingdom and for Your glory. Amen.