Hello Friends and Family!!! Hope you received our Christmas Letter and are doing well! Last month, staff and volunteers at the Asian Rural Institute, ARI, began planning for the coming year. As we continue to care for the land and animals that provide our daily bread in the morning and evening, we have had meeting upon meeting during the day time. In these meetings we have been challenged and blessed to share our visions, dreams and plans for both our personal lives and our work. After a year when much of what we hoped for became impossible to achieve and so much was put into simply surviving, we truly want to thrive again this year. In that thought, the word resilience comes to mind. Resilience is often described as the ability to be happy, successful after a difficult situation. This was a word that was often used about the ministry of ARI in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Disaster of 2011 and this acknowledgement encouraged the ARI community and we ourselves so much in our ministry. In fact, it is a skill that many of the people we serve, who come from around the world, must have just to survive another day, another year. I am reminded of so many graduates of our Rural Leader’s Training Program who have displayed such amazing resilience in their lives and in their ministries. Women and men who have experienced famine and drought, conflict and war, the lack of access to any type of professional health, financial and educational services have shown us how much is possible when you are resilient. Here I remember that their resilience did not just come from their hard work. It came from great faith through great grace from a great God.
That is our hope. In the second letter to the Christians in the city of Corinth, Paul says that we have a treasure of God’s power inside our fragile bodies, which are merely like jars of clay. That is that there is a strength, a desire for life and love inside of us that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the resilience that I know has brought us through times of difficulties and carry us even today.
So although we do not know what 2021 will hold, we seek to be resilient, trusting that God has not brought us this far, just to leave us. What about you? Do you have hope that God will continue to carry you? Are you willing to walk with us and even claim resilience in your own life? Thank about what that might look like for you today!
May all of our glory be for God!
Enjoy some photos from December at ARI as our new graduates finished and we sent off.
Caution!!!! All pictures were taken without masks on! Hope you can enjoy our smiles