The weeks of Advent are a paradox. We live each day with a heightened sense of expectation and anticipation as we wait. However, our waiting and watching for the Lord’s appearance in everyday events is easily pushed aside as we engage in all sorts of holiday events intended to make the season more special. Our efforts to experience more leaves us actually experiencing less. In these weeks of Advent, look for and anticipate the subtle ways that God moves among us and experience them to their fullest. Consider ways that you can bless others and be an instrument of God’s peace.
The Columns this month contains a list of ways to bless others through your contributions or direct involvement. Our Advent Missions Offering for Global Missions is one very important way that you can help. One hundred percent of this offering is used to keep CBF field personnel on the field meeting physical, emotional and spiritual needs as they share the Gospel around the world. One example of the ministries this offering supports is the work of Shelah and Jade Acker, founders of Refuge and Hope in Uganda. The center is not a shelter itself but through it, social workers provide counseling, education, job training, life skills training and help in resettlement of refugees in Kampala, Uganda. Many of the refugees that make their way to Refuge and Hope from South Sudan. An estimated 300,000 people have been killed and four million South Sudanese displaced as a result of the civil war that erupted in 2013. Many of these refugees find their way to Uganda where they are willingly accepted, but where life is very hard due to lack of education, training and resources. Centers like Refuge and Hope provide the love, care and community needed by these refugees. May we all remember that in this season we celebrate the birth of Jesus who, soon after his birth, along with Mary and Joseph, became refugees themselves as they escaped to Egypt. Jesus taught when one demonstrates the love of God by loving and caring for one of the least of these you have done it unto him. Prayerfully, consider how you will give to support this and other efforts around the world.