March 2020

I am excited for what 2020 will hold for me and my household, and Archippus Awakening. That said, my hope is not based on what I hope to achieve for Jesus. Whilst I have set certain goals to keep me on track, it is important that these markers align with what the Lord has prepared for me in this year.

That was what I wrote in January 2020 Newsletter, published on 24 January, the eve of Chinese New Year.

Well, we all know what happened soon after that: the spread of the novel coronavirus in and around Wuhan over the Chinese New Year season, the declaration of Covid-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO on 30 January; and on 11 March, a global pandemic.

Almost suddenly, everything has come to a standstill. Countries are locked down. Businesses are affected. Movement is restricted. Social gatherings have been curbed and limited. And of course, church services have been suspended. Who (pun not intended) would have known?

This might cause you to wonder: So, are you still excited for what 2020 holds? What about those plans and goals? Not so positive or hopeful now, is it?

That all depends what or who my hope is based on, does it not? If it has been based on the seminars and camps I was invited to speak at, then there is no more hope since all of these have been postponed or cancelled. If it has been based on my own grand plans and impressive targets, then that has also come to nought.

Thankfully, the Christian hope is not dependent on these. As I wrote in January 2020 Newsletter, “Our hope is in God, and Him alone.” Cliché as this may sound, this is a truth to be grasped, especially in these difficult and challenging times. I daresay that having started with this posture, this truth has been a great stabiliser through the past weeks of uncertainty and change.

Hoping in God has pushed me back to Him, time and again. In trying to make sense of the situation, the Lord led me to get on Facebook “live” that I may rally others to pray and to also bring words of encouragement to the Body of Christ. I pray that you will be encouraged by the main points, recorded in these articles:

  1. Pause & Pray: Play
  2. Covid-19: Faith First
  3. Covid-19 Disruptions: Two Reminders for the Church
  4. Covid-19: One Day at a Time

Hoping in God has pushed me forward too. In a very short span of time, I was forced to learn new things and consider fresh ways, remembering that these are but means to an end, that the message remains the same, that the kingdom of God is still moving forward. To this end, my trust is not in my expertise or know-how nor is it in how sleek or professional the presentation formats are. My trust is in who God is and the power of His word. My part is only to be faithful to declare all He has placed in my heart, and He will surely bring it to pass. This is not wishful hope, but hope grounded is the person and purposes of God. Going forward, I believe the Lord has dropped a few fresh initiatives into my heart. Please pray with and for me as I move on these, by His grace and with His enablement.

Hoping in God has brought rest in these uncertain times. Uncertainty can easily result in anxiety. Needless to say, everyone is inconvenienced in one way or another. We all hope that things will go back to normal soon. Even so, no one really knows what the new normal is or when that would happen. Do not worry. Take it one day at a time. Rest, knowing that your hope in God will never disappoint.

In case you might still be wondering: So, are you still excited for what 2020 holds?

Yes, I am still excited for what the rest of 2020 holds for me and my household, as well as the work of Archippus Awakening. Although we can expect further disruptions, we will not allow these to be distractions from what the Lord has assigned to us. Above all, our hope is not in our own expectations, but in God and Him alone.

Allow me to wrap up this update with another paragraph from my January 2020 Newsletter:

If we don’t grasp the truth of this hope we have in the Lord, it is all too easy to look to new starts in new years only to discover these to be false starts, over and over again. After just a few of these, discouragement and disillusionment can set in, resulting in a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. This is what happens when we hope according to our own expectations, expecting God to fulfil our desires and wants but not according to His plans and purposes.

For sure, this Covid-19 situation is a very serious one and I am not in any way trying to make light of it. I am, however, doing my best to point us back to God, for He must be our starting point – always. More than just praying for Covid-19 to go away (and it is ok to do that), I believe that the Lord desires that His people learn what we need to learn in and through this crisis He has allowed.

Without doubt, God is still on His throne and in total control. We may know that, but do we believe it? If so, let us keep trusting Him and hoping in Him. Even better, let us use every opportunity to share this hope with others who have no hope.

Dear friends, thank you for praying for me and my family, and also the work of Archippus Awakening. Likewise, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Lockdowns or shutdowns, the kingdom of God keeps advancing. Truly, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “the word of God is not chained” (2 Tim 2:9)! Let us keep encouraging one another to keep keeping on for Jesus and His forward moving kingdom.

In His love and for His glory!