Spotlight 16/2021: Hope is the friend of faith
Twelve eggs for a month’s worth of wages! Unbelievable and yet bitter reality. The only thing that can help in circumstances such as these is hope for a better future. District Apostle Helper John Fendt (USA) reports on his work.
Our motto for 2021 is particularly meaningful as we enter the second year of the pandemic. The assurance that Christ is the one who guarantees our future enables our brethren to hold onto their faith despite great difficulties.
Many of the countries we serve outside the United States have suffered greatly. Consider the situation in Venezuela. Even before the pandemic, the economy was in shambles. Most of our brothers and sisters struggled to simply provide food for their families. For example, due to rampant inflation, a dozen eggs cost more than a month’s salary. Quite a few fled to other countries in search of the means to provide for life’s basic necessities.
Then in March of last year the pandemic hit. The weak economy became weaker. In addition, it was not even possible to gather in the Lord’s house to be strengthened through the fellowship with Christ in Holy Communion or the fellowship with one’s brothers and sisters. Many suffered with Covid infections and other illnesses, and medical help was difficult to obtain. It is easy to understand that, as we entered 2021, hopelessness was like an enemy that constantly tried to overwhelm many people.
However, the overarching guideline for the year is “Christ, our future”. Already before the pandemic, we were taught that our expectation for the Lord’s return should not be based on a desire to escape the difficulties of everyday life, but simply because we love Him and wish to share eternity with Him.
Our brethren have struggled to maintain the focus on our eternal future with the Lord, but they have not given up in the struggle. In recent months, the local Apostle has been able to visit the different regions in the country. Despite all their difficulties, our brothers and sisters are joyful in their faith. They strive to grow in their relationship with Christ and prepare for their eternal future with Him.
Photo: Jens Lange