As I write it is Monday morning. Once again, we surrounded by many reminders that life is hard and the world challenging. I am thinking of:
The death yesterday of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles shocked the world. Greg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs said it well, “Millions of people loved Kobe for so many different reasons.” I will remember Kobe for his fierce competitiveness, his unrelenting work ethic and his love for his family. He faced his mistakes with integrity. In his early 20’s he was charged with a sexual assault. While he said the act in question was consensual he also acknowledged, and apologized for, his “adulterous actions.” Upon his retirement from basketball he reflected that championships and recognitions are fleeting and that what endures “are the things we do to inspire the next generations.” For his family, the City of Los Angeles and all who are grieving the nine people who perished in the accident, prayers are offered.
The impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump continues in the United States Senate. What to say? How to pray? I would simply note that justice, responsibility, honesty and accountability are central biblical values.
The Wuhan coronavirus has officially gone global. While China is the epicenter of the virus, fifty cases have been confirmed in other countries. Prayers are needed for the sick, the grieving and those who are responding to them. The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chan, Area Director of East and South Asia, of International Ministries writes –
There is an urgent need to provide medical standard protection masks and robes to the hospitals in Wubei Province, Wuhan. In just one day, confirmed cases have increased from about 2,000 to 2,744, and more than 30,000 suspected cases are under observation. The number of deaths has increased from 56 to 80. These include at least one medical professional. Supplies of medical grade masks and gowns are in short supply and expected to run out in 2 days. Medical professionals are exhausted and masked and gowns are needed to help them from becoming ill.
Funds are being requested for masks and gowns to be purchased outside of China and shipped to IM partner, the Amity Foundation.
You can participate by making a contribution to LABC designated “China Coronavirus Relief.” We will forward all gifts to International Ministries.
In light of the above, our coming celebration of African-American History Month under the theme “Stand Strong, Hold On” seems especially important as do the words of Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you in my victorious right hand.”
Prayers of the Congregation
Jeanette Paige and family as they mourn the death of her dad; Pam and John Claassen as they mourn the death of their friend Mr. B.; Roxanne Jones as she mourns her niece; Jim Dorr; Hallie Randel for her mom; Jewelle and James Gibbs; Jeanne Robinson; Mary Karne for Maryla; Zondra and Marty Martin; Katrina Lau; Jesus Portillo for Jude; Karen Hopkins for Georgianne, Connie and Lou Ann; Jesse Lucas; The people (and animals) of Australia; Rick McKillop for his family; Roy Browner and Al Johnson; George Cummings; The people of Puerto Rico; The people of Nigeria; The people of Iraq and Iran; The Young Adults of LABC; The Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering; Thanksgiving for the apparent resolution to the Moms 4 Housing action; All caregivers; The United States Senate as it conducts the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump; Paige and John for Cordia Lee; The Scott Gattey Family; Jim Jeffery; The Thaker family; Robert Wilkins; Pastor Tanner as she travels to Washington D.C.; John and Laura Landgraf; Gloria Meads for Simon, Bob and Phil; Tyrone Mack for his family; Kay Baxter and family, All who are celebrating the Lunar New Year
International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)
“This week marks 75 years since Soviet troops stormed the gates of hell. Hell was near a Polish town called Oswiecim. Hell was a place called Auschwitz.”Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald
Thank you LABC for your generous support of the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Offering.