From The President
Each of us fell sick—one by one—starting literally days after my wife, Mary, and I and our children arrived in West Africa to begin our mission service in May 1996. Outside temperatures hit 120 degrees. Inside our apartment it was 105, cooling only to 98 at night.
Mary, a trained nurse, kept detailed health records for each of the five of us. The diseases we faced were serious—malaria, dysentery, parasites—and by Christmas, Mary had logged 52 doctor visits. We were literally sick and tired, and we wanted to go home.
Yet through those challenges, God taught us an important lesson about perseverance. When we felt like we were at the end of our rope and couldn’t go on, God sent help and encouragement. On some days it was a fellow missionary who visited us; on others we got word that friends at home were praying for us. Over time we understood and accepted God’s bigger purposes and thankfully, we began to feel better.
Paul in Romans 5:3–4 explains this reality well:
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Over the past two years, the world has faced a very serious global pandemic from COVID-19. Many have faced severe illness, including a number of workers with JAARS and with our global mission partners; many others have lost their lives. You and your family have likely also suffered due to this disease.
Despite the challenges, I am thankful to share that God graciously responded to the prayers and generosity of many to accomplish significant things around the world through JAARS during 2021. Like you, we sought to persevere, and we have witnessed God’s mercy and encouragement.
Please take a few moments to read about some of these accomplishments and give thanks to God with us. And for those of you who journeyed with us through your prayers, financial support, and service, thank you! Your partnership is truly making a difference around the world.
Yours for God’s glory,