Dear Ministry Partners,
I hope it’s okay with you if I frame this end-of-year Advent note on behalf of Missio International in the form of a grandfather’s reflection!
Since Doris and I first became grandparents a year ago (November 30, 2021), we’ve been experiencing—as often as we can—the fragile miracle of a newborn baby. Her name is Adley Mae. At birth she weighed a whopping 6 lbs 15 oz! Comfort. Cradle. Rock. Feed. Burp. Clean up. Tuck in. Sleep. Rinse and Repeat.
What I did not appreciate 30 years ago with my own children as keenly as I do now with our granddaughter is her total dependency on others for survival! This precious life is completely helpless and absolutely contingent on the care of others. I know. I should have gotten that as a father with my own kids! For some reason, this time around as a grandfather, while holding this tiny life in my arms, I have felt more deeply than I would have expected just how fragile is the first year of human infancy.
Since we recently celebrated the first Sunday of Advent, I’d like to use the opportunity to connect my personal reflections with the church calendar. For years God subjected himself in his Son to the fragile nature of human development in a dangerous world. The next time you see the button-nose and recessed chin of a newborn consider the fact that our Savior risked everything, gave up everything, and humbled himself to the point of nursing at his mother’s breast for life-giving nourishment like every other baby in human history!
How amazing is the love of God who would entrust his only begotten—and utterly helpless—Son to the care of a teenage girl who was herself not much more than a child!
And what is true about the entrusting love of God is true about the entrusting love of God’s people, today. This is YOU! In a way that is similar to what I feel when I hold my granddaughter, what we—the team in Knoxville—get a glimpse of every day through your support of Missio Link International is compelling evidence of God’s abundant love. In this, we are profoundly blessed and thankful.
Through some of you this year, that love was poured out for the care of Romania’s most vulnerable women and children. For some of you that meant continuing a partnership with growing congregations in remote locations and the training of leaders in strategic areas. For others, it meant responding graciously to critical needs generated among the war-torn border communities of neighboring Ukraine. For others still, your time, talents, and treasures helped Missio Link International complete and launch the Alpinis Leadership Center.
For everyone, we know that current economic realities have made all levels of donations difficult. In everything through the work of Missio Link International we want to remind you that you are advancing the gospel of God’s impeccable, risk-taking love in Christ Jesus, the once helpless infant who is now Lord of all! From all of us here at Missio International (US) and from everyone associated with Missio Link International (Romania) we wish to offer our abiding thanks for entrusting to us the stewardship of your resources.
President (and grandfather), Missio International
Board of Directors
John’s Island, SC