I thank God often for you-- a loyal companion fighting faithfully to advance the Kingdom. From our first introduction, I knew you to be a gracious gift from God. May we continue to offer ourselves to one another and be sharpened by the Spirit. This walk is difficult. When darkness remains, lean in and be reminded that He is enough.
Know that God's hand is in the present suffering. While discouragement and doubt hang heavy, let us resist apathy and refuse ignorance. Call on the Lord to soften our hearts and grant us wisdom, because injustice thrives. It is ever present, constantly evolving into a more palatable evil. The easier it is to swallow, the more dangerous it becomes. This should not surprise us. Although we fight from a place of victory, we are those still engaged in battle. Let us continue to stand firm on the side of truth. Avoid inclinations toward revenge and seek holy justice, knowing that God has the final word. My friend, Jesus is our solution and our endurance in the necessary work. Trust not in yourself, but look upon the One worth imitating. His model embodies compassion and sacrifice. In this way, be confident choosing discomfort when it serves to drive out darkness.
We must love God's people, retaining and restoring dignity to all image bearers. Be wary of those who value some over others. Their hierarchy serves an appetite for greed and power. One day, they too will answer for their actions. Instead, celebrate God’s complexity, communing with and serving the diverse faces that reflect Him. Never allow Him to be diluted for the wicked whims of men. Be generous in giving, never withholding what might meet a need. Remember all that we possess belongs to Him. Be emboldened-- the radical way we love points to the mysterious and beautiful intricacies of the God we serve.
Finally, I ask for your prayers. Although I risk losing what I hold dear, I am confident the Gospel must be shared. There is life to be lost if left unsaid. I am reminded that God is working even when the present circumstance resembles failure. Pray my trust in the Lord expands through my present obedience. I hope not to be left in shame, but delivered by God’s hand from temporary suffering to eternal glory. I am humbled knowing my words do not sway hearts. I need not fear sounding wise or convincing. In truth, my lack of eloquence reveals stronger evidence of God's presence and authority. May the hearts I confide in be receptive, and movement toward or to life be encouraged.
No matter what happens, pray I continue to believe and know that God is good. May my mouth open with no motivation but an obedient heart. Send my love to your family. I hope to see you again, undeterred by the broken state of this world.
Your fellow friend in God's great mission,