May Greetings!


Richard Ondicho’s Newsletter 3/2024

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received
Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two
men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up
into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner
as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-12

The Lord Jesus made a final appearance in His risen body to His disciples. He promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit and then was taken from their sight. And the Spirit descended at Pentecost, empowering the Church to set the world ablaze with the Gospel. The Ascension, what seems like an ending, is in fact a beginning. And what an important lesson for Christian life. Even where there is pain and suffering, and loss, what seems like an ending always, in God’s providence, opens to a new beginning.

How important to remember that God is always faithful to what He begins. Even from the saddest of endings, He can bring something new. This is why we always see the outline of the risen Christ. Of course, since that first Easter morning the Lord has always been risen. But the feast and season of Easter helps us, each year, to believe more deeply that by dying He destroyed our death and by rising He restored our life.

Because Christ conquered death, we really can have eternal life. Because Christ returned to His Father, we have a way to heaven. Because Christ sent us the Holy Spirit we can step forward carrying the Good News. Were Christ not risen, not ascended, and not reigning, then our faith – would mean nothing. But Christ is risen.

And this faith means everything. So many people have said, ‘I do not know how I would coped without my faith.’ ‘You will be my witnesses,’ says the Lord Jesus before He ascends to His Father – ‘You will be my witnesses.’ In whatever way you can be a witness to Christ, in whatever way you are being a witness to Christ, never forget that every moment, every second, our Savior promises us – you and me – ‘I am with you always; yes to the end of time.

Time passes very fast while we continue as a family to see God taking care of us. This year Kirsi will not be away as last year when she spent 3 months in Roman and was alone with our three sons. By God’s help we have been enjoying our Divine service together with other Christians. We have been enriched by the fellowship of members of our Congregation.
God has continued to multiply is by bringing new people some who have never stepped in the Church in their lives and has been moved the way the Holy Spirit works in their hearts as they received the Baptism teaching. I thank God that a member of our Church invited one mother with her two sons aged 17 and 19 and they wanted badly to be taught and be full communicant member of our Church. Of course, language was a huge hindrance because I don’t speak French but gradually, I got Luther’s Small Catechism in French which helped a lot. After five months of teachings, they got baptized and are now very active in the Congregation. Also were others who speak a different language although they speak some English, but I have always found a way on how to teach hence it takes not less than 3 months to be sure that somebody has understood the teachings. By God’s grace I have gotten a chance of sharing God’s love, with sharing God’s mercy. I pray that God will continue to grant us to get on with living our faith in the city with joy and with passion.

I want to thank you for your prayers and financial support. The work is heavy, but God has granted us strength because you prayed.

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