Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Note from the Director - Easter is not about comfort

“But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5-6

Comfort. That word has been a word that I have been ruminating on quite a bit lately. As I returned to the United States from our recent trips to Liberia and Hungary – I found myself captured once again with the comfort of home; the comfort of a country; the comfort of a language, a food, a people that you know; the comfort in a clean warm shower; the comfort in clean water…

As I think even now on “comfort” my mind goes not to my easy chair at home, but the lack of comfort of our brothers and sisters who will meet in secret in Asia in just mere hours to worship a risen savior – risking limb and life to gather in community, to gather in worship.

As I think of “comfort” my mind goes to my brothers and sisters in Liberia who will rise tomorrow from a slumber after a 110 heat indexed night in electricity-less homes, will drive on dirt roads to fan out and gather tomorrow in “comfortless” churches to worship a risen savior. I pray for the strength of Augustine, Wonderful, Destinee, Ben, Edwina, and all of the Youth for Christ Liberia staff as they praise God not for their “comforts”, but for their salvation and His glory.

As I think of “comfort” I think of the 143 million orphans in our world – whether in US foster care, in orphanages overseas, on the streets, or squatting in abandoned buildings. My mind is immediately drawn to the 3 year old little girl, the same age as my daughter, who reached out her dirty, dusty, and tiny hand to be held while I visited her orphanage in Liberia. Her belly was howling for food, her heart begging for loving touch, and her eyes were telling a story of rejection - far from "comfort."

If we are believers in Jesus Christ then why are we drawn to “comfort?” As we look to Easter, the most important time of the year for believers, we look to a God who sent His Son Jesus, not to be comfortable, but to seek and save that which was lost. As Isaiah says, “He was wounded… He was crushed… Upon Him was chastisement.” These words don’t necessarily indicate comfort; they aren’t words that give the connotation of “safety.”

To save, rescue, and reach orphans God does not call us to be comfortable, but to go through the lack of some comfort. I have spoken with several families over the years who were called to adopt older children. They have poured out their hearts as they detail the pain and hardship their families experience as their new child has wreaked havoc upon their home and their other children. While this process is usually short lived as the child acclimates to their home and tests the boundaries and depth of love, it is still not without its "lack" of comfort.

To save, rescue, and reach orphans many times means entering into hostile lands or parts of our world that know nothing but poverty, it many times means leaving behind the modern “comfort” of home, and many times if called to adopt it means risking the “comfort” of your family and spending the “comfort” of your vacation time to spend weeks in another land.

Rejoice today beloved that Jesus was willing to risk all “comfort” for our sake…

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20-21

As ambassador for Christ, join Lifeline as we risk our “comfort” for the sake of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord and making him known to the more than 143 million orphans of the world. This Easter may we celebrate, not for ourselves, our salvation, nor our “comfort,” but in the power of salvation to reach the lost and lonely of our world. Will you be an ambassador of Christ for an orphan this Easter?
Partner with Lifeline today. Visit today to donate to the cause, to apply to adopt, to sign up for a trip through our ministry and visit orphans in need, to apply to be a foster parents for a child in US foster care, or to volunteer in one of many ways for the sake of orphans.

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’” Isaiah 6:8

Oh beloved, will you allow God to use you to impact the life of a child? Please do not hesitate to give Lifeline a call because we are here...

On behalf of the orphans.

Herbie Newell
Executive Director
Lifeline Children's Services
giving children a hope and a future
twitter: @hmnewell

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