"Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will restore us, that we may live in His presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."
Dearly beloved APBF family,
How are you doing? I miss seeing you in person at your country conferences and meetings! Please let us know how we can pray for you and with you. The number of infections is more than 5.23 million with more than 340,000 deaths, which means the virus is now everywhere. Let us continue to trust God to set up the hedge of fire and the shield of protection over our loved ones, our nation and us!
Reset - The situation seems like a Reset. More people seem to be turning to God, they are home to be with their loved ones--eating and doing things together and the environment seems more better, more beautiful and more serene with less ground, sea and air traffic and pollution.
Return & Refocus - The Word of God exhorts us to repent and return to the fundamentals and foundations of life-of relationship with family and those nearest and dearest to us--eating and doing things together, spending time reading, deepening and widening our mental horizons and most of all, return to our first love for God! God promises we will surely experience and enjoy His presence in the shortest of time when we return to Him. We are eternal beings and God is whom we belong to!
Let us fix our eyes on the eternal, not the temporal. The temporal with all its intricacies, complexities, luxuries, pomposities and limitations will pass away but the eternal remains. However, to know God, acknowledge Him, and enjoy His love and to love Him-these are things no one, nothing and no virus can take away!
Re-channel - in the midst of the present difficulties, and even lockdowns, may we re-channel our energy and time to love, be compassionate and rally resources to help and bless as we reflect the good, faithful, loving God to everyone, not just Christians! To be the voice of hope for the weak and vulnerable and to be the hands and feet of our Lord Jesus Christ to them. The Lord may be saying to you--lf not you, who? If not now, when?
2020 is a year we all look forward to. Being a leap year, it is extra special to those born on 29th February but it has now become known as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Life and livelihood have been devastated and much destroyed but, we are people of faith, hope and love and let us live as that! "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1 :7). I ended 2019 leading my 15th Bible land trip of a team of 41 but this time to Greece and Turkey in Dec, alternatively with Israel and Egypt/Jordan. It was altogether a very special trip visiting the seven churches of Turkey, the monasteries and rock formations of Greece. Though familiar passages, those lessons from Revelation 2 & 3 are still as applicable today as when they were first written. "Let him who has ears hear what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches" especially in these last days! Christmas was as usual a very happy and fruitful season having preached the good news of Christmas Joy to at least five churches and meetings and seeing dozens and dozens of people responding to God's amazing love!
Right smack at the beginning of January, 6-11, before the dust of Christmas and December had settled, I made a mission trip with my church to Cambodia. While walking through the slums, I wondered why after decades of ministry and numerous mission trips, I was still serving with the people living in slums. It was then that God reminded me the reason why Jesus came-for the poor, naked, bankrupt, diseased, destitute and forsaken. More than that, He reminded me that I was poor, naked, bankrupt, diseased, destitute and forsaken, yet He still loves me enough to die for me! Our BWA General Secretary, Dr. Elijah Brown was also in Singapore for a short two-day visit and we had some good times together.
February 7-11, we had our APBAid and Executive Meeting in Okinawa, hosted by our General Secretary Vee Tetseo and his ever youthful, energetic wife, Ai Sinseh as well as Rev. Tomari of Goya Baptist Church. We enjoyed the pork knuckles, the peaceful, serene island but more so, the wonderful fellowship and robust meetings. March is the usual BWA meetings in Washington D.C., except that this time, we had to be extra alert because of the coronavirus, but our meetings went well. The same evening after the BWA meeting, I flew off with Rev. Pau Khai to minister to his Zomi Baptist Church in Louisville, then to Rev. Pau Lian's church in Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; and finally to the Zomi Church of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma; before flying off to Alexandria, LouisiÂana for a short visit, then to New York and back to SingaÂpore. I kind of set a personal record of flying 12 flights in 1 O days over 9 cities. The kind hospitality of our Zomi brothers and sisters will long remain in my memory besides the good and fruitful ministry seeing many rededÂications and salvations recorded. Due to COVID-19 four trips in March and April were cancelled. I feel badly for the time and effort put in by the local leaders but I am sure God is doing a reset so that we can review, refocus, and rethink our priorities.
Let us not cease praying for God's mercy over the world, but that there be true repentance, renewal and revival in the lands as we seek His face to contain, cease the spread and cure the people afflicted with COVID-19. Meanwhile, let us:
STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY, STAY SAFE AND STAY CONNECTED!
"Every crisis is also an opportunity to pray and seek God with a quiet spirit, and to share His great love and power!"
Rev. Edwin Lam
President of APBF