Hey @Michael_Suderman. Glad to have access to you this week. I was just wondering how your ministry has been going. Any anecdotal praises you can share with us? And, what would you say are your biggest obstacles in ministry that we can be praying for in particular. I sure miss the summer institutes, but I hope our paths cross again. Blessings to you.
Great to hear from you, brother! I have always enjoyed catching up and praying with you when we do cross paths. Thanks so much for asking and volunteering prayer support, which I will gladly accept. I’d be happy to share about a recent event that really encouraged me. I recently had the privilege to address parliamentarians, ambassadors, and business leaders of Canada in Ottawa at a lunch meeting organized by Christian Embassy.
The talk was about the cultural absence of forgiveness, especially for those in leadership whose failures are often very public. Through the talk I wanted to communicate to those attending that whether or not forgiveness is available to them from their constituents, colleagues, friends or family it is always available to each of them from the God who is willing to forgive and who demonstrated his love for them in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. It was ultimately intended as message of hope for those who came, and it seems it was received as just that - for which I am very thankful!
The room was very international and several faith perspectives were represented. This topic for the lunch was chosen only a week or two prior to some very significant and relevant events in Canadian political leadership that rendered the country very divided and frustrated over certain failures of some in leadership. So, going into the event I was expectant for God to speak! While I can’t go into too much detail about how those in attendance personally responded, I will say that several approached me with gratitude for the reminder of God’s indiscriminate grace and mercy, and some of those from other faiths expressed sincere appreciation and curiosity about the Christian concept of forgiveness as it is displayed through Jesus on the cross.
In the words of one parliamentarian: “Your talk was like a laser beam to me!” God’s example of forgiveness to us in Jesus is a massive empowerment for us to also forgive by extending the grace and forgiveness that we have first received. Jesus doesn’t shy away from our responsibility to forgive as recipients of grace (Matthew 18:21-35), though I readily acknowledge there are many challenging instances in life where this can be a process. I’m learning that as each of us offers the Gospel to others for consideration it’s important to remember that forgiveness heals the heart into a posture of offering the kind of love that has made one whole - a divine love. Those in power also need that kind of healing so that they might serve in their roles as gracious leaders who act with compassion.
I think we easily forget how much those in leadership struggle with loneliness and the pressures of public office, so I consider it a great honor to be able to encourage and challenge in that way. Ministering in DC and other government and political arenas has also reminded me just how important it is that we pray for those in government and political leadership, whether we agree or disagree with their policy decisions.
Personally, I would appreciate prayer for some upcoming meetings in DC, that they would be fruitful for those attending, and that God would continue to call people to our Nation’s Capital who are faithful lights on Capitol Hill during a time of intense polarization. You can also pray for discernment as we as a team seek to make wise decisions about how and where to invest our time and efforts - ultimately we want to be in step with the Spirit in all that we do and sensitive to God’s leading. Simply put, please pray that my plans would be his plans!
Thank you again, Kel, for your message and for your partnership in prayer. I will also keep you in prayer today and hope we can cross paths again soon. Until then, be blessed!