We’ve had Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Now it’s time for Forgiveness Eve.
As I stand on the brink of leaving to minister in a Pastor’s Conference January 9-12, what I’ve termed a “Conference on Forgiveness,” I’m filled with anticipation for what God will do, and thrilled to bring a living witness to His forgiveness for my brothers and sisters in Mexico.
Yesterday, our son-in-law and much loved pastor of our current church family asked me if I felt ready for the conference. I said yes remembering a moment on Thursday when I felt God saying “Enough!” to all the preparations for teaching and counseling I had been making. It felt like that moment before the big party you’ve been planning for Christmas or the New Year when all is done and you can just sit down for a moment and savor what’s to come.
I told Pastor Dirk I had prepared a Guidebook to Forgiveness that had been translated and I would work through with our conference brethren. I described the guidebook not as a step-by-step manual, but a way to consider the movements in God’s Spirit as He moves through the process of forgiving us, and then begin to invite Him who indwells us to do the same in us.
Forgiveness is a dynamic way of life that takes us ever closer to bearing the image of Christ with love and transparency to all those He brings into our circle. It is not a 7-steps-and-we’re-done kind of deal.
Perhaps it’s a like a Christmas party in this regard. You really never know how it’s going to go no matter how much you’ve done to prepare. It all depends on who shows up and the gifts in attitude they bring to share.
So, here I am on Forgiveness Eve. I fly out of Albany on Monday, January 7 and return on January 15. The conference on forgiveness is Wednesday, January 9 – Saturday, January 12.
For all of you who desire to pray with me through this experience, these are the goals that God has given me for this Mexico experience:
- To help the OperationFLOW ministry team work through the shock of swirling emotions and changing circumstances due to their main leader’s hurtful departure
- To help them see there is hope beyond this time – that ministry effectiveness could actually increase far beyond where it has been (John 14:12)
- To communicate a biblical perspective on forgiveness. The key in all of this is to respond not according to what we feel but according to the principles of scripture.
- To discourage the ministry team from making hasty decisions, but to work together toward a plan of action that underscores dependence upon God and harmony with each other.
In addition, I ask special prayer for my wife Julia. She will remain home and need to deal with the extreme weariness, occasional dizziness, and other difficulties of living with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). Please pray that God will guard her from respiratory problems (e.g., chest colds, etc.) which can quickly complicate things for her.
I’m rejoicing that God has provided a 30-year veteran missionary from Mexico City to be our translator for the conference. Her name is Katie Taylor and I ask you to especially uphold her in prayer for she is the critical link in my communication with the brethren there. In addition to Katie, I am teaming up with my brother Kevin M from Oregon who will add wisdom and clarity of perspective to everything. What joy this is for me to partner with these two and of course, our host and OperationFLOW team leader, Rebecca Coult, to begin this moment of God’s grace in our lives. She and her children especially need our prayers since it is her husband who has left their marriage and the ministry in pursuit of ungodly, worldly pleasures.
With God’s help I hope to report on the progress of the conference as we go along, but it may not be until after the event that I can follow through on that desire.
I’m leaning on your prayers this Forgiveness Eve.
Your brother, Dave Ewert
PS: To see more of what God is doing through our Emmanuel Reformed church family, please visit (https://encountererc.com/). To get caught up on the various ministries of OperationFLOW, please visit (https://operationflow.org/).