You’ve likely seen the statement, “The worst purchase I made in 2020 was a calendar day planner!” 2020 was, and 2021 is, a year of surrender—surrendering our routines, plans, and comforts. Trusting, adjusting, and planning for the unknown. Many of us are ready to go on vacation, go out to eat, go visit family and friends, and go back to “normal.”
I praise the Lord that in the midst of everything … travel bans, challenging financial circumstances, increasing Christian persecution, and other obstacles, God has used you, your prayers and financial support to reach people around the world with the Good News of the Gospel through Audio Scripture Ministries (ASM)! Thank you! (View ASM’s 2020 annual report here.)
Jesus’ Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13) reminds us of the Good Seed of God’s Word and the different soils upon which it’s spread. Chad Vanden Bosch, ASM Africa Director, is living out that parable through New Harvest Farm (NHF) in Mozambique. Chad says building relationships and distributing good seed, literally, is positioning NHF as a conduit of blessing and discipleship in their community. Chad celebrates how “something as simple as corn seed” can lead to growing seeds of faith. Despite cyclones, political unrest, challenging insects, and all the rest, Chad listened to God’s call to “go” as the hands and feet of Jesus to address community food security issues, and this has opened new doors to sharing Jesus. His wife, Dara, is doing the same. She leads hundreds of hospice and palliative care visits, annually, with ASM’s Compassionate Care Team.
God has used the obedience of Jim and Jamie Loker, ASM’s Latin America Directors, to “go.” Over the last two decades they’ve facilitated Bible recordings in nearly 100 languages, distributed God’s Word in audio to thousands of people, and equipped hundreds of pastors to more effectively share Jesus.
I’m humbled and inspired by the commitment of the men and women God allows me to serve with, including ASM’s team and the national leaders who have obeyed God’s call to “go”—so that all may hear the Good News of Jesus.
I recently heard the song “Ready To Go” by Christian artist Charlie Rey. The song immediately resonated in me, bringing the anticipation of what God is going to do through all of us this year as we “go.”
The song goes like this:
“There are days I wish You’d let me see
What’s ahead and where You’re taking me
A burning bush on fire
Or some writing in the sky
But that was never what You promised me
I have everything I need to see ←(Yes!)
As long as You are with me
I’m ready to go
Where You lead me, I will follow
Where we’re going, I don’t even have to know
No matter what’s ahead, You’re with me every step,
and that’s all I need to know … So, I’m ready to go”
Can you sense the anticipation, and the necessary surrender in this song? There’s a lot of unknown still ahead, yet together we say “Yes!” to God’s command (Matthew 28:19-20a, NIV) to “… go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you …”, through:
• Audio Bible Recordings and Distributions—working with national leaders on the continent of Africa, in South Asia, in Latin America and elsewhere to record and distribute God’s Word in heart languages that need to hear it.
• Bible Engagement—Tara Rye, ASM’s Bible Engagement Director, is developing ways to better equip people to Be in the Word, Be with Jesus, so that lives will Be Transformed.
• Integral Mission—launching the 2021 Container Project to support the Vanden Bosches by filling a 40-foot shipping container (more on that in the newsletter).
Thank you for your prayers and generosity so that together we are “ready to go.” … HERE WE GO!