We are under no illusions that praying with thankfulness is easy after such a challenging year around the world. But as 2020 comes to an end, please join us in giving thanks to God.
We give thanks that the Lord Jesus Christ was sent into the world to bring light and life.
We give thanks that the word of God has rung out across all 40 countries our mission partners serve in.
We give thanks that despite those whose overseas placements were curtailed or redirected, there are many more applying right now to serve with Crosslinks in 2021.
We give thanks that throughout the many and varied trials of the year, our mission partners have consistently spoken of the Lord’s goodness and of open doors for the gospel (scroll down for four short examples).
We give thanks that despite the challenges of remote working, the Crosslinks office teams have stuck at it and spurred one another on.
We give thanks that the Lord has used online platforms to strengthen partnerships between mission partners and churches.
How about you? What are you giving thanks for this year?
Here are some of the things our mission partners are particularly thankful for:
Andy and Zsófi Oatridge, Hungary
'In 2020 Acorn Camps celebrated its 20th year of running bible-centred English language camps in Hungary. Sadly though, this was the very year we couldn’t run any camps at all. Plans for a big celebration had to be postponed but our hearts still rejoice at God’s faithfulness. We couldn’t run camps for other churches but we encouraged our own church youth group and leaders. We weren’t able to teach youth work at national conferences but we could equip a handful of youth leaders via Zoom. We didn’t build new relationships with teenagers but we strengthened relationships with our own children, our new church and our new colleague. We can’t plan for UK teams to come and serve with us in 2021 but we can develop our year-long bible teaching training course. The Lord’s plans carry on even if ours don’t: we can give thanks in all circumstances because we know his perfect will is being worked out.'
Gerald and Louise Mwangi, Kenya
'2020 has been an unusual year for us here in Nairobi but one we won’t forget. We are very thankful for the health and strength God has granted us and for the safe arrival of our third son, James. Gerald had to suspend the TransformD discipleship programme in March and move to virtual mentorship and lessons, but it enabled him to have more time at home with our twins and to help Louise in pregnancy. Another unexpected blessing was that our nieces were able to visit frequently to help with looking after the boys. As a result, the cousins will have a very special bond as they grow up. So we have many things to thank our God for despite the challenges of these times.'
Julian and Nicky Milson, Spain
'We’ve been so blessed by the constant reminders of God’s grace in the small things of life and have been led to appreciate things such as fresh air, silence, technology and even toilet paper! The Psalms have been a special blessing this year with the frequent reminders that when all seems out of control, it isn’t: God remains on his throne reigning over all. One of the biggest sorrows has been the loss of physical contact with our church family. We thank God for Zoom and FaceTime and for the new opportunities that have arisen. We are thankful too for the amazing support we have received from those in the UK going through very similar things. Meeting virtually with our church partners has been such an encouragement. We move into 2021 thankful for this past year and trusting in the goodness of our great God to continue his work in Spain.'
James and Lucy Buchanan, South Africa
'2020 has been a reminder that God, in his good sovereignty, works all things for good. We could never have planned for this year and yet God has used it. We’ve grown in our relationship with and dependence on him. We’ve had our eyes opened to the need to stand up for the oppressed, with his compassion and love and for his glory. For Hope Church, not being able to meet together on Sundays has actually deepened relationships in our small groups. Deep and honest conversations about God’s word have taken place after virtual services that probably would not have happened otherwise. People have been more committed to meeting together and to sharing their lives with each other. We are so grateful to God for bringing about so many unexpected positives.'
Any donation you can make to Crosslinks this Christmas will be hugely appreciated. Your gift will help make gospel ministries across the world possible.