Dear beloved: As news comes out of Africa this past week about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, we are stopped in our own lives as we ponder yet another threat to the lives of the people in Africa. This virus follows on the heels of other deadly virus outbreaks that have plagued Africa; since 1981 nearly 30 million people have died of HIV-AIDS in Africa alone, and it still continues to affect many in the sub-Sahara region of Africa today, in fact, 68% of all HIV infections world wide are in the sub Sahara Africa region. Then you add to that malaria deaths which total over half a million in sub-Sahara Africa each year, mostly in children under 5 years of age. Other threats to the lives of people in Africa include waterborne illnesses, poor sanitation, tribal conflict and killing, and now a new threat to all peace loving people, the sectarian violence of radical Islamic jihad. Taken all together, these grim statistics bear out it seems there is little hope for the average person in Africa. And our natural reaction as Americans to the news of Ebola and all the other plagues of Africa is let's just do our best to make sure it stays over there.
Jesus prophesied all this would take place, when He spoke in Matthew 24 about the end of the age, and the signs preceeding it. Matt 24:6 "And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for this must take place, but that is not yet the end. v7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. v8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. v9 Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. v10 And at that time many will fall away and will deliver up one another and hate one another. v11 and many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. v12 And because lawlwssness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. v13 But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved."
If earthly hope is in short supply, there is one hope that will never disappoint, that is the hope of the glory of God! The Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 5:2 that in Jesus we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. v5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. And so beloved, the hope for all mankind, not just for those in Africa but for those all over the world, is the good news that Jesus saves, the good news of the gospel, that this world and all that it has to offer, the pain and suffering, and the joy, is not all there is. The good news is that Jesus saves for all eternity, to give hope and redemption to all who face unspeakable suffering and bleak opportunities in their life here on this earth.
Beloved, with your help we can take the good news of the gospel, the hope that does not disappoint, to the precious souls in Africa. Time is passing quickly and God has opened some amazing doors of opportunity. Please stand with me in prayer and make a contribution to the Gather the Outcasts Africa Mission of 2014. We will be conducting life saving, hope dispensing crusades in three places this coming September; in Nairobi at Kenyatta University with university students, in Malaba, Kenya, on the border of Uganda, and in Goma, Republic of Congo. This is their hope, this is God's will for them in this hour.
Email me at email@example.com if you have any questions or comments. Contact information: Gather the Outcasts Ministry, Box 92, Norton, Ks. 67654, or you can go to www.gahertheoutcasts.com to make a contribution with a credit card through Paypal. May God bless you as you pray and we move forward together to take the message of hope to Africa. In Christ, Jim