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Jesus said, “Feed My sheep”

Posted on: April 26th, 2015 by Christy Jansma

Originally posted in the Freemail e-newsletter, April 26, 2015

Thank you for your prayers and support. As we continue to process the news of Connie Lawson’s cancer diagnosis, many are asking, “What can we do? How can I help?” The outpouring of love for the Lawson family has been a clear testament to the number of people they have had an impact on over 39 years of ministry, both in Lethbridge and beyond. Hundreds of people long to give back to Connie and Ian.

Through all the challenges, Ian has been quick to note that so many others are facing their own difficulties, many without the supportive community they need. As a staff especially, we hear how Ian’s heart aches for those who are traveling alone on the road of illness, financial difficulty, broken relationships, and other crises.

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17)

In truth, there are countless hurting people in our midst who deeply need practical help—meals, childcare, a job, a ride, or just a cup of coffee with someone who will take the time to listen.

The overwhelming response to the Lawson’s circumstances has brought to light our collective capacity for meeting peoples’ needs. May the Holy Spirit make us sensitive to those in our midst who are in need and compel us to offer a helping hand.

As a part of the church Ian and Connie love so deeply, one of the greatest ways the church family can support them during this time is to ensure Christ’s sheep are being fed.

Jesus said, “I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18)

Of course the past two weeks have been difficult for the E-Free staff. We feel the full range of emotion that would be expected at such news. We cry out to God in prayer, we laugh and cry together, encourage one another, and pick up pieces for each other.

And all the while Ian’s common refrain echoes in our minds: “Jesus said, ‘I will build my church.’” Regardless of our current circumstances, Christ continues to save, heal, and draw people close to himself. We recognize that Sunday’s coming. People continue to struggle, rejoice, need counsel, worship, connect, serve, and grow. Ministry goes on. Our desire is to see the sheep fed.

We can’t say it too frequently—please continue to pray. Pray for Connie and Ian, the board and staff, and our entire church family. And don’t forget to pray for personal opportunities and willingness to feed the sheep.

In Christ’s service,

On Pastor Ian’s behalf,
EFCL Staff

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