Newsletter Issue 5 — Easter 2009
Dear Friend of Agapé Heart,
Easter, the pinnacle season of the Christian church year, is here again, so join us in giving thanks and praise to God as we declare the glorious truth:
Easter is, of course, the foundation of our faith — the incarnate Christ came to earth on a mission of love — agapé love. He gave us salvation through His wonderful grace. To redeem us, He paid the highest price; He suffered humiliation, unimaginable pain, and an agonising death on a cross. In our place, He who knew no sin, took the punishment that we deserved. But of course, glory be to God, the story does not end there. On the third day, as He said He would, He rose again! In His death and glorious resurrection, He overcame sin and death for us. Our Lord Jesus willingly went to the cross. And it was not the nails that held Him to the cross, but His love for us that held Him there. What love is this!
In Jesus, God gave us the greatest gift — forgiveness, redemption and eternal life with Him. As children of God, we carry the DNA of our God — agapé love. And agapé love necessitates giving. “You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving” (Amy Carmichael).
We know that we are in a deep global financial crisis and that so many have been adversely affected. Some are facing insecurity in their employment, some have lost their jobs. If you are thus affected, we truly understand and our heartfelt prayers are that you know God's abiding favour and faithfulness. We believe that the love of our God is a persevering, redeeming love, and that this season is also a redemptive season in respect of the global economy. By the grace of God, many will move from a focus on self-centred worldly values to the eternal, unshakable values of the kingdom of God. In this there is true and immeasurable blessing.
God's enduring heart of compassion for the poor, destitute and marginalised must continue to be reflected in a practical way, even in this season as we make radical adjustments in our lifestyle — not just for ourselves, but to enable us to maintain and even enhance our giving to those in desperate need. Because He is Love, Jesus is the true recipient of our giving (Matthew 25:40 “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”).
The Word of God commands us time and again to love one another and to walk in love. If we love one another, we will give to our brothers and sisters in need.
We give thanks and praise to God for, amongst other blessings, the following:
- Meals provided for needy children and adults last Christmas, and Pastor David, a beneficiary of Agapé Heart, sharing the gospel at the Christmas meal. We understand that all had an enjoyable time and were deeply grateful;
- The donation of 300 quality long lasting insectidal mosquito nets to Agapé Heart to be distributed among those who most desperately need them;
- Agapé Heart workers and volunteers in Nigeria for their passion and commitment, and for God's continued favour and protection;
- All Agapé Heart supporters for their continued prayer and financial support, enabling us to continue to help those in desperate need;
- Agapé Heart sponsors are to take up sponsorship of orphans Nnenna and Ugochi. This involves regular provision for their material upkeep and education.
Please Pray For:
- 55 year old Enyidiya Ibe from the village of Okon who is currently undergoing hospital tests for suspected typhoid fever — Agapé Heart is funding her treatment as she has been ill for a considerable time and has been unable to afford to pay for a hospital diagnosis of her illness;
- 9 year old Ugochi, seriously ill and presently undergoing hospital assessment;
- 12 year old Chinaza Imo, whose surgical operation has been postponed until summer because of the anticipated length of stay in hospital;
- Our plan for meal provision for the poor at Amuma scheduled for Easter. Pray that we provide for those who are most needy and that the message of God's love is received and bears fruit in Amuma and the surrounding villages;
- God's continued favour and direction for Agapé Heart.
We are planning to send clothes once again to be distributed among the poor in the villages in Nigeria where Agapé Heart is currently operating. If you have clothes that you are able to donate for this purpose, please let me know as it would be deeply appreciated.
Friends, there are very many poor people who have approached Agapé Heart for help. Many are distressing cases, such as that of a man named Kalu Okorie who has a deep, festering, gangrened leg like that of Mr Ikenga Ibe, and we want to help. If you are able to help us with any amount of donation, it would enable us to meet the desperate needs of many more people. Please let us know if you are able to help in any way.
Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support for Agapé Heart. May the Lord rain down His blessing upon you this Easter, renewing and strengthening you, in Jesus' name.
Yours in Jesus