Palmerston North Update
This morning I was reading Isaiah 60 and was struck by how God calls us to be mirrors. We all know that a mirror has no light of and in itself, what it does is faithfully reflect the light that shines on it. I think this is part of what it means for us to be made in the image of God and to be Christ’s servants and followers,
1Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. 2 Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you.
Have you ever seen an old, dusty mirror? How about one smudged with moisturiser or suntan lotion? If the dust and smudge is extensive it’s hard to see much through such a mirror. Have you ever stood in a cow pat or horse poo? Not pleasant eh? So just imagine a mirror smeared with horse manure – a jarring picture isn’t it? It would certainly look bad and smell bad! We are not the source of light - God is – but we are called to remove the dust, smudges and smears from our mirrors so that we can more faithfully reflect God’s light to others. And as we do that,
3 All nations will come to your light;
mighty kings will come to see your radiance.
4 “Look and see, for everyone is coming home!
Your sons are coming from distant lands;
your little daughters will be carried home.
5 Your eyes will shine,
and your heart will thrill with joy,
Something we have seen this year, amidst all the disruption of Covid, is students gravitating to the light of the Scriptures, a home-cooked meal and welcome, being a spiritual family together, and a sense of God among us. For Dianne and I this has brought gladness and joy; these students and graduates are like sons and daughters to us.
What we have learned is relationships established with students before Covid have become the main focus of our ministry in Covid. The pandemic has been disruptive, isolating and discouraging, but students have gravitated to people and places where they experience a sense of love, care and family that help hold them in the midst of so much uncertainty. We’ve also seen the importance of thinking long term, to value the students and grads we do have, and think
22 The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”
The LORD is our light, the LORD will make it happen. As we head into 2022, let’s encourage one-another in the work that we continue to do, that, although it may be small, the fruit in the future could be far greater than we can expect or imagine. All predictions are the borders to International students will begin to reopen in mid-2022. Once again the nations will come to our light. How are you preparing yourself for their arrival? What state is your mirror in? Maybe that is something you can work on in preparation for new International students arriving on our shores.
Palmerston North team leader