COVID-19 Weekly Update #6

April 17, 2020 | by: First Free | 0 comments

First Free Family,

Are you growing weary of this new normal? Now that the newness of change has worn off and the celebration of Easter is past, we find ourselves in need of endurance. The fatigue has set in, so where do we turn? Thankfully we aren’t left to ourselves! We find strong encouragement in the Psalms. This coming Sunday we’ll be in Psalm 100 where we see a reminder that the LORD is good and his steadfast love endures forever. That perspective can turn weariness into thankfulness. Especially when we consider the display of that love seen most clearly in Christ. Hebrews 12 says, “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated as the right hand of the throne of God.”

Or consider Galatians 6 which says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Friends, alongside great temptation to grow weary, we have great opportunity to do good in this moment. It will likely look different for each one of us, but take some time this week to consider how you can turn your weariness into motivation for doing good. Who can you check on or encourage this week? Is there a need you see that you are able to meet? Be creative and intentional. We need each other in the weary work of perseverance.

Livestream and Resource Update
We turn back to the Psalms this Sunday and will hear from Pastor Jordan Green. We hope you’ll tune in! We’ll be recording early again and making the video available on our livestream page shortly before 10:45 on Sunday morning.

If you didn’t see it already, be sure to check out Pastor Chris’s blog post, “Share Christ, Not COVID.” He gives some needed encouragement and perspective to our call to share the good news even in a pandemic. As he said, we have everything we need for this important task, we may just need to take a step of faith. In it he also mentions an evangelism prayer meeting through Zoom that anyone is welcome to join on Monday nights from 8-9pm. You can find more info on our COVID-19 Resource Page.

And as a reminder, if you have a need that you’d like help with, or would like to pray or talk with someone, please don’t hesitate to let us know using the “I Need Help” button on that same page. It would be our joy to connect you with someone willing to help.

Financial Update
April Giving Goal: $213,048
Still Needed to Meet Goal: $86,090
General Fund Giving Last Week: $61,080

Missions Partner Highlight
Each week, we’ll be highlighting one of our missions partners in our weekly emails so you can learn more about their ministries and be praying for the gospel to go wide through their work.

India

First Free has four missions partners serving in India. Three of our partners, W & S, C & L, and R & C, have traveled back to the States in light of the COVID-19 situation. We also partner with, Philemon, a local pastor who administers a TUMI site in South India. He remains at home there. India is a country with many different needs and the climate that COVID-19 has created has made them increase. Please pray for our partners and their many friends who are still in India. They shared the following requests:

  1. Delivery drivers, plumbers, cooks, and many other informal workers from India’s cities fled to their home villages after the announcement of a nation-wide shut down in late March. These workers support families in villages on less than $10 per day. Since work has dried up, so has their food. Praise God for the ministry Philemon runs. He received funds to provide meals for twenty-seven workers in his village for fifteen to twenty days.
  2. Praise God for stories of demons cast out and miraculous healings in the midst of intense persecution. W & S shared stories of believers they met at a recent training. One man has scars on his stomach from being shot by a family member, but he continues to passionately preach the gospel. Some of his friends and family have come to faith as a result.
  3. W & S, C & L, and R & C are working to lead their teams well while they are apart. Pray for good communication with teammates and unity in their work.
  4. Pray also for good communication with their friends in India as W & S, C & L, and R & C continue to disciple them using technology and other means.

His steadfast love endures forever,
Pastors Josh and Ron

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