Pastor Andy's Invitation to Pray, Connect and Give

April 29, 2020

Dear Friends,

COVID-19 has not done the damage that was first predicted. Instead of deaths in the millions, the latest numbers are over 59,000 deaths in the US and over 219,000 worldwide. 

While we are praising God for the lower numbers, they don't quite seem so small when it hits close to home. My sister was tested positive; she's doing fine now, thank God. Those in the ABCOFLASH family of churches have been affected as well; one church reported a death directly attributed to the virus. Others have known of members that have tested positive. My next-door neighbor was grief stricken over the loss of her aunt in Iowa. Making matters worse is that she is not allowed to attend the funeral. Moreover, her aunt died alone, suffering in her last days without the comforting presence of a family member. I hope that the woman was a Christian so that she could have reached out to Christ when suffering and is now able to enjoy His eternal presence.

In times like these a minister (as all Christians are) can feel helpless. We are anything but. I am so encouraged by my one-on-one conversations with our pastors as well as our weekly Zoom calls (2:00 on Fridays). Our leaders have risen to the occasion by finding new and creative ways to reach out. Several of our church services are continuing and flourishing. Like many churches, Atwater Park Baptist Church is seeing stronger numbers (online) than they were before the virus. There is even a family from Norway joining in! If you had told Pastor Jim Schultz 20 years ago that he would have internationally "televised" church services he might have been surprised. Then again, maybe not as he'd be quick to remind us that "in the last days (God) will pour out (His) Spirit on all people...." (Acts 2:17)

Whether these are the beginning of the last days, or the end of the last days, we are closer today than we were yesterday. So, what do we do? Anything and everything God calls us to do. We can: 

  • Pray. We're doing that, often. One of many opportunities to pray will present itself on May 7th when The National Day of Prayer will be observed by your region. Stay tuned for details of our on-line event. In the meantime, continue to pray for our world, nation, region, churches, and families. 
  • Continue to connect with and support our missionaries, pastors, and chaplains. "Business as usual" needs to take place even in these unusual times. The lost need to be led to Jesus, the sick still need to bespiritually (in addition to physically) cared for, and disciples need to be made. The region is not simply an office in Glendale just as the church is not simply a building. We are with you as the ecclesia (the body of believers) here and around the world. 
  • Give. Your region has a fund serving our pastors to help them with needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. We recognize that there are those who are not able to help financially, but if you're able, would you or your church be willing to make a special gift to your region at this time? 100% of your donation will go into the Pastor Emergency Fund. So far, we have had an anonymous donor who has pledged $5,000 in matching funds received by May 15th. Additionally, special thanks to Dr. and Mrs. Samuel Chetti for contributing their tax refund of $2,000. Lead on! 

 

You can also send a check designated to the Pastor Emergency Fund made payable to ABCOFLASH and send to 213 N. Louise St., Glendale, CA 91209.

(please use this new address, not the P.O. Box)


These days I have an even greater burden for our people. However, I'm grateful for what I see happening around our region: you are side-by-side with Jesus, carrying that burden. The lost continue to be found; the sick and dying are not alone; the tribes and nations that inhabit our vast region are being reached and equipped to do His work. From the depths of my soul I say thank you. The example of your faithfulness inspires us to do all we can. 

Thank you also for encouraging me, personally. If I, or any of our staff can do the same for you (and we all need encouragement from time to time), please reach out via phone, text, or email. 

In His Service (and yours),
 

Andy Q.

Date: 
April 29th, 2020