Hope for Scattered People

A couple days ago, I watched with watery eyes as the body of a recently deceased uncle was slowly pushed into a crematorium by wailing mourners.  Two women screamed and passed out as the door of the furnace was closed.  The man's three sons collapsed to the ground in tears.

Today, I visited the house to see the bereaved family.  The sons sat stripped in a nearly empty room while their wives were compelled to stay in another part of the house in a similar state. For 12 days after the death of their father, they will remain in this state, avoiding salt and meat, not venturing out of the house.  Considered unclean and polluting during this period of time, they will not be touched by anyone else until the 13th day.

Here in one of countless apartments on some forgotten street in Chicago, the family repeats a tradition passed down to them by elders in Nepal and Bhutan.  Performing it correctly, they believe, will ensure their father's successful transition to his next life.  Mistakes can result in him becoming stuck in the inauspicious liminal spirit stage indefinitely -- he'll become a ghost.  But guarantees are hard to come by.  The family members long for success, but hope they do not have.

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope." (1Th 4:13)

Let me be clear about something, folks.  The Lord has chosen to bless and increase this little ministry of Trinity International Baptist Mission in powerful ways.  Ours has, by God's grace, developed into a ministry that is all about bringing the hope and wholeness of Jesus to the scattered people of the world.  I cannot even begin to tell you all that God is doing in and through this team right now.  I wish I could.  I wish you could sit with me in a Nepali house and watch the scales fall off the spiritual eyes of people who've for generations sat in darkness.  I wish you could spend a day with Pastor Talargie as he ministers among the Ethiopian community here.  I wish you could have sat among the more than 300 Karen (Myanmar) believers that celebrated the new year together this year in our Karen church plant.  I wish you could be a fly on the wall at the College of DuPage or at our ESL ministry and just watch God work.  

And it stretches beyond that.  Beyond Chicagoland.  Soon more visitors will come here to see what we're doing in our cross-cultural work, seeking to learn and apply in their own context in another state.  I received a letter just the other day from a cross-cultural worker in another country who has been using our online resources in their work among Nepalis.  The coming months will feature great opportunities as members of our team equip and dialog with others about diaspora missions in France, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, and elsewhere.

And I share all this because, to put it plainly, we need additional financial support.  We need many, many of you to give.  We need one-time support of all shapes and sizes along with regular supporters who will give monthly, quarterly, etc.  If you've made it this far in today's post, I want to ask you to please go the extra mile to make a quick, secure online donation to our ministry.  We use the very secure PayPal for all our online giving.  Your gift will be fully-tax deductible and will be put to work for the Lord right away.  Our ministry is small and focused on doing the work of bringing Christ to all nations.  You can have confidence that any gift you make, whether $5 or $5000, will be put to use in supporting the growing mission of TIBM.  At this point, we know that thousands of people are impacted every week through the work of Trinity International.  Many have come to Christ.  Churches have been planted.  Christian leaders have been raised up and sent out.  Countless have been discipled.  

I want to encourage you to give in any of the following ways:

1. We have an immediate project that we are raising money for.  This involves sending me (Cody) to France for an international consultation on missions to scattered peoples.  You can learn more about this opportunity here.  You may make a donation of any size to this project by clicking the widget below.

2. We have a number of different needs that you can give to by following this link.  This will take you to our PayPal-based donation center on the TIBM website.  From there you can explore a variety of needs or simply make a general contribution of any amount.  

3.  As always, you can make a general contribution to the work of TIBM by sending a check to the following:

Trinity International Baptist Mission
112 Horizon Circle
Carol Stream, IL 60188

We really need your support right now.  When the economy is bad, often it is small ministries like ours that suffer most.  Yet, I can tell you with certainty that much of what we are doing is not being done by anyone else in God's family.  I can now say that many, many times I have shared Christ with someone who has never, ever heard the gospel before.  God is with this work and I believe you will be blessed as you join with us financially.

Blessings and thanks!

Rev. Cody C. Lorance
Senior Pastor & Church Planting Leader
Trinity International Baptist Mission

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