May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us. – 1 Kings 8:57
After Pentecost, Luke described the church in Jerusalem as a remarkable gathering. They were concerned about the truth; they prayed; they even sold property and possessions to help those who had little.
Later, when the apostle Paul traveled from place to place, the same remarkable gatherings arose. And if you read the last portion of the book of Acts, you might be struck, as I was, at the joy the people had as they met Paul and other Christians and as they heard how the Holy Spirit was bringing others to faith.
So here we are two thousand years later. I hope these pages will bring you joy and encouragement. This special issue shares the stories of how the Holy Spirit is still adding to the church, just as he did at the beginning. New York City, Myrtle Beach, and Boise replace Ephesus, Corinth, and Berea. East Asia, Mexico, and Nepal replace Galatia, Italy, and Cyprus. The names attached to these stories replace Paul, Silas, and Timothy.
As we rejoice, we should also be encouraged. His kingdom continues to come as we pray so often. Among us, let us continue to pray not only for these missions but for called workers to send. Among us, let us work to reach out in our communities to every neighbor and every nation. Among us, let us renew our efforts to use our financial resources to bring the joy of the gospel to others.
John A. Braun
Forward in Christ
Read more about how WELS missionaries are working to spread the gospel in the U.S. and around the world on the WELS Missions blogs.
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Author: John A. Braun
Volume 103, Number 9A
Issue: September 2016
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