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Richard Ondicho’s Newsletter 3/2023/
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV.
The verses above are some of my favorites in the whole Bible! You can feel the joyful confidence brimming from St. Peter’s words, from the heart of a man who knows Jesus. He was there when Jesus conducted His earthly ministry. He was there during the events of Holy Week, feeling the shame of his own weakness under pressure, even as his Lord passed the test. He was there on the first day of the week as a witness of Jesus’ resurrection. He heard Jesus’ words of forgiveness for his denial and his reinstatement in the days that followed – “Feed my sheep…” “Follow me” (John 21:17, 19). He saw King Jesus ascend into glory. And Peter was there when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles and empowered them to be Jesus’ witnesses (Acts 2). Peter, by the power of the Spirit and from personal experience, knows with certainty how good Jesus is, and he is brimming with hope. And he writes to stoke the hope of Jesus’ church, wherever it might be found.
May God bless you and yours as we enter the days of summer. For many people, perhaps especially those with children in school, summer brings with it the opportunity to travel. Maybe it’s visiting family in another town or have free time in the summer cottage. Maybe it’s going to attend our most blessed Gospel festival at Toholammi. I view travelling as an opportunity that it provides us a picture of life as children of God in this world. In the Old Testament, God called Abram and Sarai (later renamed Abraham and Sarah) to be the parents of His chosen nation. And as part of that calling, He took them on a trip to a new homeland. We can imagine that the journey they took challenged them at times.
My wife Kirsi was posted by EU to Romania for exchange program which will last for three months. The program stared at the end of May till end of August. During this time Amos, Eliel and Sinuhe are with me. Being on summer vacation children are busy with their friends during the day or even to late evening and the challenge remains to me to call them and find out where they are although Amos is never outside with friends and so he serves as one who helps to suggest what type of food that I should buy and cook. We also enjoy our evening prayers.
At the beginning of June we had a confirmation class for one daughter whom I have been teaching for the four weeks meeting three times a week. It was a process which those who were baptized as adults were interested to go through. I intend to make it happen because the need seems to be from every grown-up converts.
I thank God for the volunteers at the International Church. Volunteers are indeed the hands and feet of Jesus. They offer their time and talents in service to the Lord. I praise God for giving gifts that they possess and the heart to share them. I thank them for being Jesus’ hands and feet among us. A big thanks for all the Sunday School teachers. Although two of our Sunday school as we finished are going to be our missionaries to Uganda. Lauri and Paula have been instrumental to our lead our Sunday school team. I remain thankful to God for the couple who have graciously served us.
Thanks, you for your prayer and financial support. Some of our members have gotten asylum while others have not. Kindly pray for our members who have not received permit that God will intervene with the whole process of asylum.