Featured Image: Younger daughter Lisa & husband Jonathan holding 8-month-old twins Noah and Aaron; almost 5-year-old twins Evelyne and Isaiah (holding hands!) and almost 3-year-old Solomon
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors…” II Corinthians 5: 18, 20
Dear family, friends and ministry partners:
The New Year of 2021 is finally here! Needless to say, we are so anxious to see our children and grand-children in person once again (and to meet our new grand-twin boys for the first time!) However, we will have to be a little more patient! I am sure that many of you, dear friends, are also missing being close to your loved ones – Zoom and FaceTime and video clips and phone calls are great but not quite the same!
As I reflect on the beginning of a new year, I was reminded of the above beautiful and encouraging scripture – as followers of Jesus, we are, INDEED, a “new creation” and as He lives in us, using the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit, we ARE Christ’s ambassadors in this world that so desperately needs His LIGHT! Even if we are still forced to be “hunkered down” we are honored to share HIS Light, HIS Love and HIS Life!
A few days before Christmas we offered our 14th “Driveway Concert” and were so glad that over 50 friends and neighbors “socially distanced” on our cul-de-sac and enjoyed songs of the season, especially the beloved Christmas carols. Winter here in Southern California enables us to be outside a lot and it is on our morning walks and interactions with our neighbors, and with phone calls and e-mails to friends and family, that we can truly be “Christ’s Ambassadors.” I have a couple of ministry trips tentatively scheduled in March but don’t know if travel will be safely possible by then. Also, I have been asked to give programs at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities only to have them canceled due to the ongoing pandemic. Yet, in the midst of darkness and despair, we can all offer light and hope and comfort, through Jesus Christ, our Lord!
As you can see from the picture above, Lisa and Jonathan certainly have their hands full over there in the Middle East! Their wonderful work sharing God’s love and the Gospel of Hope continues in spite of COVID! Heidi’s organization, “Innovations for Poverty Action,” is more needed than ever in the dozens of countries they serve around the world, especially as worldwide poverty has seen a dramatic increase during this time. (There is a wonderful article about “IPA” in a recent Wall Street Journal.) Your prayers for our family and for all those incredible workers who serve as the “hands” and “feet” and “eyes” of Jesus are much appreciated.
Thank you, also, for your many prayers for my health challenges. After almost five months of back pain, and numerous visits to doctors, orthopedic specialists, our chiropractor, acupuncturist and physical therapist, I am happy to report that the pain is way less, and I believe THE Great Physician is answering your (and our) prayers for healing and restoration. And a heartfelt thank-you to all of you for your kind and generous support of “State of the Heart Ministries” over so many years, but especially during this one just past.
We pray continually for you and yours, that our loving and awesome God continues to bless and keep you and hold you safely in the palm of His hand!
With gratitude, love and blessings, Ross and Tammy