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TWO HEROES FOR TODAY!

Dear Crosswalkers,
 
Navigating our way through the COVID-19 pandemic is important business. Having said that, I am weary of the intense focus on it. To paraphrase what our Lord said in another context, “We should pay attention to this, without neglecting the more important matters of life and faith” (See Matthew 23:23).

Recently, two wonderful followers of Christ went to be with the Lord, and these are examples of heroes in our midst. They both modeled the more important matters of life and faith.
 
Joyce Lin was a pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). The 40-year-old was transporting rapid test kits for COVID-19 and school supplies to a village in Papua, the easternmost province in the far-flung island chain. Soon after take-off, her plane crashed in the inclement weather.
 
Joyce was an experienced pilot and a certified flight instructor. “We feel a great sense of loss but a great sense of comfort as well, because Joyce was doing what she loved to do and she was faithful to the calling that God had placed on her life,” David Holsten, president of MAF, told Christianity Today. “She gave her life serving the Lord in a way that was impacting others.”
 
Joyce was the daughter of Taiwanese Christian immigrants. She became a Christian as a child through an outreach program at her church. After earning a degree in computer science from MIT and working in IT for a decade, Lin felt called to ministry. She attended my seminary, Gordon-Conwell in Massachusetts, where she discovered missionary aviation.
 
“There is a famous verse that Christians like to quote from Romans 8:28,” she wrote, “which says God is able to work all things together for the good of those he called according to his purpose. As I’ve looked back on my life, it has been cool to see the many ways in which this verse has been true in this calling to serve in Indonesia.” Now, that verse has found its true fulfillment!
 
Another hero for our time was the brilliant apologist and evangelist, Ravi Zacharias. The 74-year-old follower of Jesus died yesterday from cancer.
 
Ravi preached in more than 70 countries and authored more than 30 books in his 48-year career, teaching Christians to engage with skeptics and arguing that the Christian worldview has the best answers to the most important questions of life. I have been blessed by his many You Tube videos, and I encourage you to check them out.

Zacharias was born in India and raised in an Anglican family. After drifting away from his up-bringing, he was converted to faith in Jesus while reading the Bible in the hospital after a failed suicide attempt as a teen. What a story! He immigrated to Canada at the age of 20, and later began Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.
 
The stated mission of Ravi’s life and ministry was this: To help thinkers believe and believers think. What a wonderful life mission!
 
Our sister Joyce and our brother Ravi’s life on earth was, as C.S. Lewis so beautifully put it, only “the cover and the title page: now at last (they are) beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
 
They used their gifts from God to forge a magnificent legacy of faith. This Sunday, we will be looking at how the Holy Spirit has gifted us so that we too my have a powerful legacy. Our text will be from Ephesians 4:7-16, and the message is called, The Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I hope to "see" you online this weekend!

With great affection,

Pastor John

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