Deep down, we often believe that
human ingenuity and the advances of technology should bring every kind of chaos under control. We forget that crises like this unending pandemic have been the norm for most of mankind throughout much of history.
Still, God’s love always finds a way to reach us. He found Adam when he was hiding under some fig leaves and the people of Israel when they were lost in captivity. His love penetrated the darkness of the cave where David hid and spoke in a still small voice to Elijah on Horeb when he was convinced he was the only one left. God’s relentless love reached through rejection and betrayal, injustice, and failure to redeem you and me at the cross.
In spite of a pandemic that never seems to end, God’s love is still finding a way to reach young people in Central and Eastern Europe.
In Serbia, many youth leaders felt scattered and alone as the restrictions isolated them from their young people and other believers. To encourage them, our JV team gathered smaller groups of youth leaders in five locations in order to support and equip them through an innovative “recharge” event. One youth group was so motivated that they decided to share God’s love in a tangible way over Christmas by making sure no one went hungry on that special day. Raising funds from friends and family, this small band of young people fed 200 people in their city on Christmas day. They invited them into their church building for the meal and took food in special boxes to those who couldn’t make it.
In Ukraine, the threat of invasion from Russia looms constantly on the horizon, but that didn’t prevent Tomasz, Mykola, Edik, Lena, Andirii, Kristy, and Lena from traveling 24 hours by train to broken cities at the front lines of the conflict to plant youth groups this summer. While political hope seems out of grasp, God’s love is finding a way to bring spiritual hope to the young people of this war-torn region.
When our Exit team could no longer visit schools with their innovative program of lectures and gospel witness, they realized that young people could still be reached in the online school environment. Designing a unique virtual Exit tour, they were allowed to interrupt classes for an entire day in 14 schools to offer support, encouragement, and spiritual truth to needy students—and teachers.
In spite of the fact that we were missing almost 800 short-term mission workers this summer, because they could not travel to Europe, the Josiah Venture team led 83 camps with over 3,500 young people in attendance. Almost half of these were non-Christians, and hundreds of them put their faith in Jesus Christ.
God’s love is finding a way through you, even though you are far from the 16 countries where Josiah Venture staff serve. You have continued to give and pray in spite of the uncertain environment where you live. Because of your faithfulness, God’s love is finding many ways to shine in the darkness and penetrate the hearts of the next generation with the good news of Jesus Christ.
Because of his relentless love, I thank you.
President, Josiah Venture