The News the Shepherds Heard
Do you ever find the joy of the holiday season doesn’t seem to match what is really going on?
Bolivia is in turmoil; crime is up, and people are being assaulted in the streets. The Myanmar military has taken over their government, affecting every area of life, including public schools and banks. Citizens and soldiers clash. In Haiti, a two-month fuel blockade has been followed by a spike in cholera cases. Violence and gang activity persist. Russia continues attacking Ukraine; the Development Director of the Bible college in Zaporozhye sent pictures of bombed out houses within a 5-10 minute walk of where he lives. Sorrow and suffering abound.
Oh, and Merry Christmas!
In the winter of 2022 in many places around the world such a sentiment seems incongruous with daily life. Yet it stands to reason that the angels’ first announcement of peace on earth and goodwill everywhere sounded just as foreign to a few marginalized shepherds outside of Bethlehem. As we know, Jesus first came during a foreign king’s troublesome edict. Within at least two or three years, all baby boys in the area were killed. Occupying troops, high taxes, and gruesome executions were the norm throughout his life on earth.
Jesus didn’t pick a particularly peaceful time or area of the world in which to come on the scene some 2000 years ago. And today, He still only needs willing hearts, open ears, and seeking minds to bring peace and joy once again, even in the darkest of circumstances.
Christians in many countries continue serving God and spreading the good news of salvation in spite of trouble that surrounds. This Christmas, may you also be encouraged that Jesus will still come to you in the midst of whatever troubles you are facing.
Please also pray for Him to come and bless the following outreach efforts around the world:
Andrew Bawi Ceu is planning a Good News Tour December 26-30 to spread the gospel in various places in Myanmar. People tend to be more open to hearing about Jesus at Christmastime.
A Convention in Ghana is generally held after Christmas for all the village churches. Ask God to bless this time together.
Pastor Samson is planning to hold two special events after the first of the year, including a dedication of the newly-rebuilt church building at Gauthier, if it is possible. Pray for God’s protection and peace in Haiti.
Pray for Christians in Ukraine to be salt and light in this difficult time.
New churches are being planted frequently in Bolivia. Ask God to bless these evangelism efforts.
This Christmas, may the news the shepherds heard—tidings of great joy to all people—have new meaning to your heart! May many more around the world choose to put their trust in Jesus.