Christ is Risen Indeed!
Happy Easter! What a joy it is to worship and serve Jesus Christ our Risen Lord! This April 16, is the first anniversary of the earthquake that shook Manta and the coastal region of Ecuador. It was an event that God has used to influence us and our ministry in amazing ways. A good friend recently asked me if we were “over the earthquake.” I immediately said, “No!” Then I said more hesitantly, “I don’t think we’ll ever be over it completely.” Maybe we shouldn’t be. I don’t want to be.
One Bible passage in particular has served as a theme and an inspiration to our family and our ministry. I shared it with the little group that gathered at our church building on the day after, and tried to keep it fresh on our hearts throughout the following months.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed (Acts 16:26).
- Foundations Shaken – In an earthquake, buildings collapse because of faulty foundations. Earthquake experiences in life should cause us to evaluate the values and beliefs that form our foundation for life. Jesus Christ and his teachings are a solid rock upon which a wise person constructs his life (Matthew 7:24-25). Have you checked your life’s foundation?
- Doors Open – Open doors are often equated with opportunities for ministry and border-crossing missional living. We had unprecedented opportunities to serve and speak in Jesus name. Because so many of you were giving and praying (and even coming to serve with us), we could act as Christ’s amassadors in expressing compassion, mercy, and grace. Many doors opened for the Gospel to be seen and heard. What doors for ministry has God opened for you?
- Chains Broken – Paul, Silas, and the other prisoners were free physically, but even more amazingly, the jailer and his family were freed spiritually by the Gospel of Christ on the night of the earthquake in Philippi (Acts 16:27-34). In Manta, many in our congregation experienced greater freedom for service than ever before. Others embraced the freedom that comes through life-giving faith in Christ. Are you living in the freedom that Jesus Christ promises?
Thank you for praying and giving.