by J. Randal Matheny, editor
“I am fully convinced, dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness.”
–Romans 15:14 NLT
The local news station here at my parents’ house reports the death of a child from head trauma suffered from a beating by the mother’s boyfriend.
Meanness and evil live next door to all of us, perhaps years of kidnapping and abuse, while few know or suspect. But enough of these crimes come to light to remind us of the deep perversity of mankind.
Against that dismal backdrop, the goodness of God’s people shines brightly as they imitate Christ and do the Lord’s will. Their decency contrasts with unregenerate worldliness.
Such goodness has impressed me again as I absent myself for two months from home and family in Brazil to travel across several states talking with churches, elderships and missions committees about support for our ministry. Though in these times of economic hardship it’s sometimes hard to get the foot in the door, I have been treated with kindness and generosity in every case.
Brothers and sisters in Christ have listened attentively, asked pertinent and discerning questions, given consideration to our invitation to partnership. People have opened their homes and shared their blessings. And though I’ve yet to hear a positive answer to our invitations to new contacts, since it does take time to discuss and decide, I’ve been impressed with the seriousness of the family of God and dedication to the Lord’s task.
Just last night one elder said that his congregation had full confidence in us and was committed to support, this after a lapse on my part in my communication with them.
Our new sponsoring church, Somers Avenue in North Little Rock, Ark., has gone beyond its new commitment to make every effort to expedite the transition and facilitate our work and relationship.
Invitations from churches to present our work have come from unexpected quarters, because brothers work for the sake of the gospel.
There are still miles to travel and words to speak before my task of replacing funds is complete. Moments of doubt still assail me. Loneliness haunts me, since I’ve never been gone from home for so long.
But the words of Psalm 59:11, read during my daily devotional before arriving in the U.S., have become my motto for this trip and continue to resound in my ears: “The God who loves me will help me.”
And that help, as often is the case, comes through the goodness of his people.
I’m fully convinced of that.
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