Our Refuge & Strength


Richard Ondicho’s Newsletter 5/2023

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”
Psalms 46:1-2.

The ongoing of war between Hamas and Israel has given us as Christians something to learn from it. As Hamas invaded Israel and caused mayhem one could wonder why and the boldness of attacking a sovereign land. I read shocking thing from different news outlets on how Israelis would hide in shelters which are designed to be a refuge for them from rocket and mortar attacks. Many Israelites ran to these shelters seeking refuge from the invasion, but Hamas had planned well on the attach that they even set bomb shelters on fire also they tossed grenades inside the bunkers. They would indiscriminately shoot the people seeking refuge inside these bomb shelters. It was terrible.

I started asking myself what about us? The fact is that no matter what we do, there is no safe refuge that we can build with our human hands. Bomb shelters in Israel failed to keep the people safe. Some people could take refuge in a house seeking comfort, only to find the house has no electricity which mean that is there is not electricity nor even blankets to cover themselves and get warm. We can seek all kinds of refuges in this world from all kinds of threats. But for us Christians only one refuge is eternal, and always standing; the refuge we find in the forgiveness of our sins.

Satan will attack us all the time. Our sin weighs us down, when our sinful nature is pestering us yet again, where do we go for refuge? Where is our concrete bunkers or warm houses? In times of urgent need all our strength with fail us. Therefore, where should we find refugee? The only place we find refuge is in our Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone we, “take refuge in the infinite mercy of God, our heavenly Father, seeking His grace for the sake of Christ.” In Christ Jesus, we are truly safe and even if the terrorist cannot touch us! I pray that each day we should be thankful for the safe refuge we each have in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

During the month of October and now November, we at the international Congregation at Luther-Church have experienced God’s visitation. We have all the time received visitors and, in some cases, we have received those who are seeking a spiritual home. Like now, we have received a few people from India who are truly happy to find a warm spiritual home. For the past two months, I have had a Catechism class of a mother and an 18-year-old son who joyfully are learning on ten commandments and sacraments which means that they get to know what baptism is and benefits there in.

Then our community building is getting stronger and stronger. Like now, after Sunday Divine service, we gather downstairs to take coffee and tea then talking and connecting and getting updates of our lives with friends. This is the part which I am totally grateful to God that he has connected us to each other.

Last week, one new convert into Christian faith asked as a family on how they should cerebrate Christmas since this is their first Christmas. There were questions on what kind of clothes they should wear and how they should meet others even on how they should invite others to their home and the kind of food eaten. These are the normal Church family thinking and learning. In our Divine service seeting 5 the pastors says;

“. . . Together as His people let us take refuge in the infinite mercy of God, our heavenly Father, seeking His grace for the sake of Christ, and saying: God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

Thanks for your continual prayer and financial support!

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