Apr 24

Happy Easter!

“Happy Easter!” has a new meaning to us this year. Saturday evening (our time) we received news of the homegoing of Marla’s dad, Milton Tolly of Hope, Michigan. Although he had recently gone through a serious illness and long hospitalization, he was recovering at home and seemed to be showing improvement. But then, unexpectedly, he was taken to the emergency room on Friday and passed into the presence of the Lord early Saturday morning (Michigan time). I can’t think of a more fitting time of year for him to enter the Lord’s presence. This has given us a new reason to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection this year! What a comfort it is that we have an inextinguishable hope of resurrection, both for our loved ones asleep in Jesus and for ourselves, because of Christ’s resurrection.

I am writing this on our Easter morning (we are 12 hours ahead of the Eastern U.S. and 15 hours ahead of the Western U.S.). We have just returned from an Easter Sunrise Service, which our congregation celebrated together on nearby BanPing mountain. We sang Easter hymns, read the resurrection account, shared testimonies, and heard a short message on Christ’s resurrection from 2 Corinthians 1:7-11, then enjoyed fellowship together over a light out-door breakfast.

We are attempting to arrange our family’s immediate return to the U.S. to participate in Milton’s funeral service, which is tentatively set for Wednesday. This means that we will need to leave on Monday in order to arrive in time. Please pray for our travel arrangements, rescheduling of important ministry events on this side of the Pacific, and for physical and emotional stamina during the following week of busy events, after which we will immediately return to Taiwan.

As I reminded our congregation this morning, God’s purpose in every crisis is “that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.” Although ultimately our trust is in God, like Paul we desire your participation: “Ye also helping together by prayer for us.” The result will be thanksgiving to God by many people when God’s powerful intervention is made known.

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