Jochebed's Hope Blog

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in Hope

A Lesson from Habakkuk

Habakkuk 1

New International Version (NIV)

The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
    but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
    Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
    so that justice is perverted.

The Lord’s Answer

“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.

How many today feel as Habakuk feels?  There is violence, injustice, strife, conflict…Habakuk cries that conflict abounds.  Isn’t that how it feels in 2017 when one turns on a television or computer to see the local, national, or international news?  Truth is, the world has been in a state of conflict since the Fall, and although we are academically aware of this fact, we are sometimes insulated and distracted from the reality of it’s true effect.  When the reality stirs emotions, people lash out online and in the streets, but it appears with Habakuk’s lament, this human behavior is nothing new.

So, how to respond?

Remember that God is in control. Not only is He in control, but “watch-and be utterly amazed” vs.5  We have read throughout the Bible, accounts of distressing circumstances that God used for His glory, and the good of HIs people.  We generally accept that, when the Israelites, or various individuals we study, react in ways that seem shallow or faithless, they behaved in such a way because they did not know the whole story or “the big picture”.  We have the benefit of the entirety of the scripture to give us the full story.  We get to see that Jesus is resurrected, and God’s plan of salvation is complete!  But, how does this impact our daily lives in 2017?  It is a very real challenge to remain hopeful in light of current events, but that is the challenge that Satan hopes we will allow to distract us from God’s purpose.  Knowing this, we must be increasingly mindful of our response  - individually and collectively- so that we are a reflection of Jesus to a broken, hurting world.

One of the ways that we choose to respond to those who are hurting is through Jochebed’s Hope.  In our experiences so far, we have been touched by the humanity, the similarities, and the warmth that has greeted us when we visit people who live on the opposite side of the world from where we live.  The process of ministering overseas is not without it’s challenges, but it is the focus on meeting the needs of the poor and oppressed that propels everyone involved.  God knows this about humans.  When we stop focusing on our own problems, and get involved in meeting the needs of others, we are blessed in ways that we could not imagine.  Let us allow God’s love to infuse our hearts so we will not be discouraged and distracted by the world.  Let us “watch and be utterly amazed”.  Let us join hands and serve together, to be a part of God’s amazing story among the nations.  

Posted by Tracey Cate with 0 Comments

The Tie that Binds

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“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.” --Isaiah 25:4

“If you do away with the yolk of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light withal rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” --Isaiah 58:9-10 

A lovely thing happened at my house the other day.  Really, it was a God-thing, a gift.  It was a gift that was about 45 years in the making.  My husband Skyped with a childhood friend that he had not seen in over 40 years.  They had exchanged emails, but they had not seen each other or spoken in person.  They hadn’t lived on the same continent in that long.  Not even the same hemisphere.  But God.  He orchestrates some pretty amazing stories.  Some are really long.  And while this story is quite long, I have a feeling that we are not even close to the end…

My husband was a little one, about three years old, when his family moved to Indonesia in the late 1960’s.  When they moved back to the United States, he was 11.  As you can imagine, a lot has happened in the years since then.  One of those things is that he has returned to Indonesia to continue/renew/grow a work that started long ago by his father, and another gentleman. Interestingly, his childhood friend has also returned and worked with some of the same people.  They had been exchanging emails for some time, and then decided to set up a time to talk to one another online via Skype, so that they could converse “face to face”— thanks to modern technology, because they are still living on different continents!  They discussed how they will work together to bring hope to the people of Nias, Indonesia.  

 My husband, Scott, was not only encouraged by the reconnection with an old friend, but also the shared love of the Lord, and the people that He has charged us to care for.  We are not alone in this effort.  We, as the body of Christ, are charged with a responsibility to care for those who have less than we do, therefore being the hands and feet of Jesus, bringing light and love into a dark world.  But, isn’t it just like a loving God to give us some encouragement along the way?  When we do these things, He is pleased, and we are blessed.  So, this blessing today is that Scott and Benny have been able to be back in touch with one another after many years.  While they work to minister to those in Nias, it is interesting to note that their families worshipped together In Jakarta, Indonesia many years ago. Did I mention that we live in Nebraska and Benny and his family are in Australia?  About a year ago, our daughter went on a mission trip with a church group from Singapore…they travelled to serve in Cambodia.  As God would have it, two of Benny’s kids were also on that trip, and Bailey, our daughter, and Tim and Faith, Benny’s children, became good friends.  And though they live thousands of miles away, they remain a special part of our family because of shared faith and shared heritage.  No matter where you are from, no matter what the political atmosphere where you live, what your opinions might be on any current affairs, what remains most important is sharing the love that the Father has lavished upon us.  We are so grateful that God’s love is for all, regardless of citizenship or location.  We will continue to work to share that love, and appreciate your partnership in doing so!

Posted by Tracey Cate with 0 Comments