Easter: A Story of Hope

As promised in October…

here is quick update on Mei and Jakob.

Mei has taken after her father as far as love of painting goes. She and her friend Charlotte spend most of their free time painting wildlife. These are her paintings decorating our letter. Jakob is still in love with bugs and “nature” in general. He has a pet spider (outside!) whose web we are not allowed to sweep away and who is probably obese because every flying insect that Jakob can catch is delivered to the web—as though he (Jakob) works for the arachnid edition of Uber Eats.

The story of the world…

As part of our training for full-time ministry with World Team, David and I have spent almost nine months in the Colson Fellows program. An intensive course on worldview and apologetics, this program covers 14 books, several webinars a month, monthly discussion meetings, and daily devotionals and podcasts. We are exhausted but oh-so-grateful.

Over and over during the last almost-a-year, we have heard the touchpoints of God’s story—and learned what that means for our lives as missionaries. They have taught us that, “the Gospel isn’t a formula you apply to your life; it’s the Story you’re meant to inhabit” and have helped us become the kind of believers who understand how creation, fall, redemption, and restoration all go together to form the only true Story of the world.

Easter: Our hope…

This month we celebrate Easter. In the story of the world, Easter is the climax. God created a good world and created humans to bear his image and commune with him. In the fall, the world was broken. Man sinned and was left helpless. God despises sin. But God loves sinners: He loves them so much that he didn’t leave them broken and helpless. God had a plan that was full of hope. Redemption.

Christ came to redeem his people. Through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, we are given hope. But, we are not only offered redemption. We are also promised restoration.

Redemption and restoration…

Our hope is to (very soon) help teach this story to the Kwakum. The Kwakum know that their world is broken. They look around and see life through eyes full of despair. But as our teammates Dave and Stacey Hare continue to faithfully serve, the Gospel is doing its good work.

Maggie, crippled and cast out as a child because she had polio, was overjoyed to finally learn that God could understand her—she doesn’t need to learn French to speak to God! And not only does He understand her, God loves her. She was baptized two years ago and now helps the translation team. She also helps teach other Kwakum to read.

Koo and Mami have struggled to understand how to live together as man and wife and as children of God in a culture that doesn’t believe in marriage or marital faithfulness. But we trust God’s redeeming and restorative work in their hearts as well, as they learn how to be faithful Image Bearers. And we rejoice that they have just welcomed a new baby boy after the heartbreaking loss of an infant in childbirth two years ago.

The first chapter of the end of the story is yet to come.…

We stand in amazement that this is happening in a world that is still profoundly broken by sin’s curse. God has redeemed us, but our story is still being written. We walk today in the chapters between redemption and restoration.

One thing I have learned to long for more than ever before is Restoration—God making everything right—The sad becoming untrue.

I love how C.S. Lewis said it in The Final Battle, as he finished his tales of Narnia:  “For us this is the end…But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life …had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

Because of Easter, we all have the opportunity to live forever in the restoration. And we will live it alongside Maggie, and Mami and Koo, and countless other brothers and sisters—people from every tribe and tongue and nation.

And we can’t wait! Amen and come quickly Lord.  

P.S. For more information on how you can join us in bringing the hope of Easter to the Kwakum, click the link below.

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