The month of March is traditionally known throughout the Church of God of Prophecy as World Mission Drive. It provides one of two annual opportunities in which to invest in Mission Giving in support of our national leaders and mission nations.
In preparation for increasing awareness of March Mission Drive I was drawn to the narrative in 1 Kings 17:8-16. This passage details God’s phenomenal provision for His prophet Elijah at the sacrificial obedience of the widow at Zarephath. It is a familiar passage of scripture set in the midst of a crisis in the prophet’s own life. The surrounding conditions include the crisis of drought – determined by God, proclaimed by the prophet, and distressing to everyone under the rule of the rebellious king Ahab. In the midst of the crisis, the action of God’s faithfulness is witnessed by His presence and interaction to direct the prophet to the widow.
As Elijah obeys the specific directive of God, he finds the widow and requests provisions in water and bread. Her response speaks of the hopeless desperation of her own circumstance; she is gathering sticks to prepare the last of her provisions for herself and her son. Although her testimony proclaims that the Lord lives, she has surrendered to the crisis in her own life and concluded that she and her son will submit to death (v.12). However, at the encouragement of the prophet and the promise of the Lord, in one critical moment of faith the widow discerns the Lord’s intervention; and as a result she, the prophet, and those in her house are sustained.
For most of my life I have rejoiced in the assurance provided in this narrative concerning God’s faithfulness to and mindfulness of his prophet Elijah. Without regard for his own life or safety, the prophet obeyed and God remembered and sustained him.
However, as I recently re-read this account, the Lord inspired a new perspective. Not only did God send Elijah to the home of the widow for his survival, but also for the survival of the widow and all who were in her house. Her discernment and sacrificial obedience became the key for the purpose of God to be accomplished. Perhaps this positioning of the prophet became an additional signal for the hope of life and purpose for all of God’s people to come.
We are comforted to consider His presence in every movement and effort toward His will and His purpose on earth. Thank God, He is with us always and is mindful of the challenges in need of His presence and His faithfulness.
The past few months have provided a stream of witnesses to the many challenges worldwide. In response, hope rises for God’s specific positioning for His will to be done in earth as it is in Heaven. In the process of such positioning, His people become a greater witness as a phenomenal hope and stability in an increasingly unstable world.
Over the past few months, while the world’s attention has been on Ukraine under pro-Russian military and political aggression, our COGOP family moved to action in prayer and giving. The giving response has provided more than $125,000 to help care for and resettle the displaced and persecuted believers who fled for their lives. This included two COGOP sponsored orphanages within the affected areas. To encourage the influence of this response, I remind you that 100% of the funding raised through missions goes directly to the field. With this support, some of our pastors returned to the embattled areas in order to provide transition places of safety, food and supplies, and care to the people who could not migrate to other areas. These photos show the ongoing devastation of that region and the prayer support still needed even today.
In reflection of the increasing global challenges, we continue to be amazed as our family continues to respond in sacrificial obedience to the specific directives of God. We have been witness to positioning in the latest Ebola Crisis which began predominately in Western Africa. We have been moved to action in prayer response to the recovery efforts of our family in Asia during the onslaught of unprecedented super-typhoons and super-cyclones reducing regions within nations to rubble. This expression of love and caring is one of the identification marks of our family – the fellowship of this body of believers within The Church of God of Prophecy.
Over the next few weeks you will be encouraged to rejoice in the witness of our ever present and ever-mindful God. Each week we will be releasing a recording filled with testimonies concerning the phenomenal work of the Holy Spirit throughout the world. Hopefully, you will be encouraged to celebrate the witness and vibrant ministries of our family throughout the world. No doubt, you will be moved with compassion as you hear the narratives of our current mission testimonies of positioning, deliverance and provision.
For more information please see the February White Wing Messenger. For additional resources, please visit cogop.org