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Forgotten Peace

“God saved us and called us with a holy calling. This was not by our efforts. Instead, it was by God’s own purpose and gracious love, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”  II Tim 1:9 (Simple English Bible)

World War 1 was a disaster for Europe. Millions of people died during the conflict and millions more rendered homeless. That’s why it was called the Great War. Many historians predicted that this was the final world conflict because of its horrendous nature. Yet, within after two more decades, World War 2 occurred. It was as if nations had forgotten the price that was paid for peace.

People tend to see what lies within their own horizons. What looms as a terrible disaster disheartens and distracts us. We lose our focus and becomes discouraged, even depressed. Many times, we’re puzzled by events that reoccur when we’ve done so much to prevent them from happening again.

Is it because we’ve forgotten the price that was paid for God’s peace? Or maybe we’ve taken for granted those blessings and mercies we’ve been given in Christ. Before time began, God’s gracious love was already in action! He has always provided life and love. We are privileged to be called His children and be welcomed into His arms.

Don’t you think?

 

Steve

Josh’s Plea For Help

“Actions always prove why words mean nothing.” A wise man

Josh had heard about a new family in town that had been left destitute by a fire. The Smiths had relocated in order that their eldest daughter study at a local college and they quite liked their new location. A fire had broken out in the middle of the night due to an electrical short and the entire family managed to leave with the pets and a few possessions. The firemen couldn’t save the home.

Josh approached the leadership of the congregation for help. A few members said they would help with accommodation and one of the elders said that the church would be able to make a donation, too. But after two weeks, nothing had been done! So, Josh and his wife took in a family of five with two dogs and a bird. It was cramped in their small home but the Smiths were grateful. The only dissenting came from the elders — they felt slighted that Josh had ‘taken over’ and had excluded them.

We’ve all had this experience — making promises and not keeping them. Sometimes, unforseen circumstances intervene and we’re left holding the bag. Other times, our own weaknesses short circuit the good intentions. But, I believe that wherever we are and whatever we can do, we do it because of Christ’s love for us and those we seek to help.

Because it is who we are!

Steve

PS The Thought for the Day was interrupted by difference circumstances but now appears to be back on track. Apologies to all those who wrote and wanted more!

 

SACM Newsletter 2015 – 1

Greetings to everyone in the name of our Lord, Jesus. ‘Tiz the season to be jolly’ was ringing in my ears at the airport waiting for my flight to be called for Cape Town. Well, I don’t think the idea of ‘jolly’ adequately covered my feelings for Christmas! It is a season of joy, Christian fellowship, family and remembrance of Christ!

Furlough

This furlough seemed to take longer than most. My wife, Sana, remained in South Africa, due to bureaucratic problems, and so I was alone. Mark Vernik, the Chairman of the mission, organized my speaking schedule in he Midwest and Walt Mielke in Florida;  Steve and Pam Hamilton found a quiet farmhouse for me and provided their own vehicle so I had wheels;  the Neuenschwanders, Snyders and others fitted out the house so I never lacked anything. All these things were essential so I could concentrate of my schedule.

Every Sunday, many Sunday evenings and weekday speaking dates stretched out for nearly five months. The Lord was good to me and I never got sick nor missed even one event. As furlough progressed, I was asked to speak at other non-scheduled churches, groups and interested parties. (The only downtime I had was during the daytime, when Bob Snyder would let me rest! Thanks, Bob!)

Several new contacts welcomed me wholeheartedly:  Patrick Gill at Kentwood Christian Church (MI);  the senior’s group at Auburn Church of Christ (IN);  Church of the Cross staff (SC);  a lady’s group at the Hillsdale Presbyterian Church;  as well as many individuals. Hopefully, some of these will help with support in the future, which will help ease the budget shortfalls.

By far, it was the response for Bibles which triggered an enormous outpouring of provision. Patrick Gill challenged the congregation at Kentwood to provide 1,500 NIV Study Bibles and every Sunday, these were displayed on the stage. Patricia at Aurora packed over 15 heavy boxes of Bibles and materials for the container. Many people responded by starting a Bible box at their church. More have promised to begin programs, too. Across the board, the need for Bibles have appealed to many Christians to help where and when they can.

At every congregation, I displayed shopping bags decorated by the African children. These were not for sale. All I asked was a donation, which would go straight to the kids – not to the mission nor to me. Over $1700 was given and already, the funds have been transferred to Cape Town. I had to ration them at each church otherwise the bags would’ve been gone within a few weeks.

My thanks to one and all, who generously helped to provide for the children.

Short Term Missions Program

A short term mission’s program is being planned for South Africa in 2016, organized by Dave Foust in Coldwater (MI). For those who are interested to know more or participate, please e-mail Dave direct at dlfoust1@gmail.com for further information. In addition, there are others who want to plan their own short term projects at different times. Even my cousin, whom I have not seen for over 40 years, has indicated she, too, wants to come out and help!

Despite the hectic schedule and being separated from Sana, everyone was so kind and helpful. I was welcomed wherever I went, ate many dinners, and spoke individually to many men and women who sincerely wanted to do more for the work in South Africa. I can only pray for God’s blessings for their dedication and faithfulness.

There are too many people to thank for their help and fellowship. All I can say is that I was truly blessed by so many Christians who went out of their way to ensure that this furlough was a success. Thank you, one and all, for your assistance, suggestions and care. I never lacked for anything.

Steve Zimmerman

S.A. Christian Mission – Cape Town