“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
As I am sitting here typing this, outside it is dark, cold and rather gloomy. It is a fitting finale for the year that was 2020. Thankfully, I am inside sitting near a warm woodstove, sheltered from the wintery blasts.
This year has been eventful to say the least. Once again, we have been made painfully aware of the fragility of life. We have seen the economic suffering of so many local businesses. We watched as wildfires ripped through our communities leaving devastation in its wake. We have witnessed much of the social fabric of our society unravel with shocking speed.
As I reflect on 2020, despite all the changes and challenges, I must say this has been a good year as the circumstances of 2020 have stripped away my confidence in many external things but deepened my certainty of Christ’s love and my appreciation for His power at work in and through the Body of Christ.
This has been a challenging, but fruitful year for TCF as well. As we close out 2020, in spite of all the schedule changes and setbacks, the message of Christ’s saving power and Lordship—The Gospel—continues to go forth and transform lives. Praise God!
The Lord has providentially used the last year to better prepare us to enter into the new year and He has given us:
Greater Confidence in the power of the Gospel and a Greater Awareness of the Need of the Gospel in our Region, Specifically the Upper Rogue Valley: Throughout the many months when our ministry was limited to online services only, the power of the Gospel was not limited in any way! In fact, we have received many emails from listener’s all over the United States, and all the way to the Gold Coast of Australia who were being ministered to through the different TCF social platforms. Amazing!
At the same time, this past year, with its series of losses also brought about a greater awareness of the need of the Gospel in our region as we have seen a sense of hopelessness manifest itself with terrible ramifications. Join us in praying that the Gospel continues to go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit and many more lives come under the Lordship of Christ.
Greater Cohesiveness as a Team: The Lord has blessed TCF with a tremendous staff. What was evident especially in this past year with COVID-19 and the Obenchain and Alameda fires is the unity and flexibility of our entire staff and how dedicated they are to fulfilling our mission of Helping People Think Like Jesus.
We have added several new team members who have greatly contributed to the work of the ministry. It is a joy and a privilege to work amongst such gifted, faithful, servant-hearted people. Your continued prayers for the staff undergird all of the ministry that takes place, so please continue to pray for unity, strength and effectiveness as our staff seeks to serve the Lord.
Greater Clarity with Future Initiatives: This past year while some ministry doors closed, other ministry doors opened with new opportunities that, Lord willingly, we will be able to pursue in 2021. Many of these areas include continued improvement in our technology, which will strengthen a currently existing strategic partnership. Additionally, we are praying that 2021 will bring forth new Global Outreach endeavors in regions that desperately need to receive the Gospel. Would you consider praying and partnering with us as we pursue new ministry opportunities in the upcoming year?
Greater Certainty on the Importance of Being Vitality Connected to the Body of Christ: This past year all of our lives were disrupted in some way due to COVID-19, leaving many people isolated and disconnected from a sense of community. This reality has had a disturbing consequence. According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans’ latest assessment of their mental health is worse than it’s been at any point in the last two decades. The only demographic subgroup who didn’t report a decline (in mental health) were those who attend religious services weekly. That group showed an increase of 4 percent compared to 2019.1
While many people in our surrounding communities were living in insolation, we have witnessed the Body of Christ reach out to them to provide needed connection and community; while others were living with great fear, we have seen Christ’s people offer tremendous hope and encouragement and when life became unstable for many, the members of TCF have brought stability through hands on ministry.
- The men’s ministry split and stacked 13 cords of wood for widows and single women.
- The many phone calls you all have made to check in on each other and offer encouragement through prayer.
- The countless hours, meals made and hospitality offered during the wildfires as TCF’s campus became the base of operations for the Sheriff’s department and fire crews.
- The tremendous generosity of financial resources to provide relief for many as economic hardships were faced.
For all these and so many more, Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
More than ever, we have greater certainty on the importance of being vitality connected to the Body of Christ. As we enter into a new year with new opportunities for connection and service, would you prayerfully consider your involvement in the life and ministry at TCF?
Looking forward to serving alongside you in the new year,