"This is how God showed His love
among us: He sent His One and only Son into the world that we
might live through Him. - 1 John 4:9 (NIV)
Merry Christmas from Ireland!
We trust that this greeting finds you well and enjoying a
Christmas celebration different than most other years we have
experienced. In some respects, I think Christmas is more special
this year, after all the events we have lived through during
2020. For those of us whose hope and trust is in Jesus, we know
that our future is secure, regardless of pandemics and problems
which have plagued our world during 2020. If there is any lesson
we have learned in the past year, we know more now than ever that
our lives, our health and our world are very fragile. There is
nowhere safer than to be in God's will as we close out 2020 and
look ahead to 2021.
We continue to have various restrictions imposed upon us here in
Ireland as the government seeks to contain the spread of
Covid-19. We have been asked many times, "How has the pandemic affected your ministry?"
I think we can truthfully say that we have not been able to
accomplish all we would have hoped during the year. However, we
also have had opportunities to reach out
and bless others this year in ways we would have
never expected previously. We have had to spend time and energy
using more online resources than ever before. There seems to be a
new appreciation of what it means to enjoy person-to-person
contact with others which we all sorely miss. We all look forward
to the day when we can get back to some sort of normalcy. In the
meantime we are grateful that God sent His One and
only Son into our world which is still a message
of hope for those all around us.
Looking back we see that God has richly blessed us and our family
members this year. We still have much to rejoice in over the past
year. As we shared in our Thanksgiving update, the latest
addition to our growing family was Jonah, born to Rebecca and our son Neil in Alkmaar, Holland on the 23rd of
October. All the family is doing well there and Neil, like so
many others is working well from home. At this busy time of year
we hope you will enjoy some of the photos below which give more
of a visual description of our year.
We don't yet know how tightly Ireland will be restricted in the
early months of 2021 but from what we hear we may be facing more
restrictions until a viable vaccine is available later in the
year. In the meantime we will continue to minister and invest in
the people God has entrusted to us.
This Christmas it has been a blessing for us to share some gifts
and resources with folks who are separated from their families
due to the pandemic and other circumstances. Thank you for helping us to serve here
and minister to others who have a multitude of needs.
As we celebrate Christmas and wrap up another calendar year we
want to extend our thanks and appreciation to you for standing
with us faithfully during this year. Only in eternity will we see
a fuller picture of how the investments we make now will bear
fruit for God's eternal Kingdom.
you and your loved ones a safe and blessed Christmas,
Jesse, for Joyce too