“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19
As we launch into this New Year, Bill Vaughan said it so well when he said “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” I think that there might be a bit of both in us all this year. We are probably all a little ecstatic to head into a new year, while being slightly grateful to see last year say goodbye. It seems there are more quotes for the New Year and resolutions, than any other time of year. And some are incredibly funny, while some actually ring with reality. Another quote I found especially funny is “It’s time to make old mistakes in different ways. Hurray! Happy New Year.”
Thankfully we serve a God who provides a perspective outside our views of the New Year, and our old mistakes. And this year especially we are holding onto Isaiah 43:19 with a God promised view of what is really going on. He is about to do something new, and the beauty of this promise, it is a promise for every day. Not just the New Year. I love how the prophet also emphasizes, “even now it is coming,” as if it has been in the works all along. Which is really how I have constantly seen God work in my life. Even in the wilderness and desert times, it was always proven to me that God was working even in the midst of it all.
God always promises that He will make a way, and that there will be abundant water for the journey. This is incredibly encouraging against the quote above that welcomes us to our same mistakes. In the midst of it all, God will always provide a way. This is His promise! He has proven to provide it – my entire life. And the abundant water for the journey, for me has been quite simple: a blend of God’s Word in His Bible mixed with prayer. When I read God’s Word, it truly is the coolest, freshest gulp of water after the dry-mouth of the desert. And I can say the exact same of prayer.
Speaking of water, you may not know this, but one of the things we give out most at The Mission – is a simple cup of ice water. We don’t keep track of it, and we rarely even talk about it. But a few weeks ago, I observed the care of our team that went into dozens and dozens of pitchers of ice water that are prepared for every meal. And we go through a lot of pitchers of ice water each day. And the one thing I do know, is that I have seen so many of our guests eyes light up at a simple cup of ice water, like it was a thanksgiving plate stacked high with all the fixings.
I am so grateful that because of your support, River of Life Mission has been able to continue to provide hope in the midst the harshest of deserts. The desert of the streets, the desert of violence and abuse, the desert of drug addiction. That there is hope, there is a way, and that there is water for the journey.
And this promise that God is doing something new, well, that is where it gets really exciting. We are pressing into whatever God has ahead, but we are sensing that it has to do with the “three M’s”. More, Mobile, and campus. Ok, so they don’t all start with an “M” but at least campus does have an M in it. Hahahahaha.
We are sensing that it is time to make significant strides to feed more people, opening more doors to share Jesus. This can only happen by expanding our commercial kitchen. And if God provides a larger commercial kitchen to grow our capacity, we also have a desire to become more mobile by taking more meals out around Oahu to people in need. And finally, we are praying hard toward a campus someday where we can offer more services to help people transition from the streets, and know and grow in Jesus.
We share this and ask each of you to pray for us during this important new season for River of Life Mission. Your continued support will help us keep doing what you have come to know and love about The Mission. And if God puts it on your heart to be a part of something new at The Mission, that will significantly expand our capacity to care, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us in this New Year.
God bless you as you press into all God is doing in this New Year. Knowing that He will keep providing a way for you, and refreshing you with water for the journey.
Pastor Paul Gates
Let me know what I can do to help.
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