In Jesus’ Name
In that day you will not ask me anything. Truly I tell you, anything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy. -John 16:23-24
In this beautiful chapter of Scripture, Jesus knows He is nearing the end of His human life and is revealing amazing truths to the disciples about who He is, the trials and sorrows to come, the power in His name for the believer, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells them (and us) that in the midst of their greatest grief and sorrow, they will receive this gift of the Holy Spirit that will bring joy that cannot be taken away. In the Scripture above, Jesus clearly tells us to lift our needs to the Father in His name, and we will receive it as well as abundant joy! It is so easy for us as believers to become discouraged and perhaps lose sight of this great joy in a world that is fallen and in so much disrepair. But our Lord knew what we were going to face and what we needed to be prepared, encouraged, and cared for. He gave us His Word as a guide, and sent us His Holy Spirit, so that we may be connected to Him as well as to each other. And even though He also said we’d have more trials and sorrows, He reminds us that He has already overcome the world.
This Christmas season, we experienced once again this amazing connectedness of the Holy Spirit with so many believers who joyfully support our ministry. We lifted many needs to the Father in Jesus’ name, and through the work of the Holy Spirit our needs were both met and exceeded! We are so thankful to the generous donors who donated towards our vehicle insurance—this was the first of many blessings! So many of you ordered gifts for our Amazon wish list or sent a special gift to sponsor a child. As we approached our Christmas & Wrapping Parties, we continued to be blessed by different volunteers and businesses. Whether you helped us with making icing and gingerbread-house-kit assembling, gift wrapping, candy bagging, ornament painting, playing music, photography, serving food, set up, take down, or transport, we want you to know that Jesus was glorified through all of it! We had great participation in this event by our families, and saw more adult family members join us than ever before by hosting the party in the neighborhood park. We want to send out a big thank you to our friends at Beach Pizza for the generous (and delicious!) catering donation for both events. This event was another unprecedented effort for us, and we weren’t always sure how we would execute certain items, such as serving a delicious hot meal. But all we know how to do at COC is to lean on Jesus and the Holy Spirit for our needs, and ask in His name, and He has never let us down. All were blessed to celebrate the birth of our Savior that day!
As we close the door on 2020, many are ready to forget the trials we’ve faced this year. God’s Word tells us, however, that it is through these trials and sorrows that we in fact become more like Jesus as well as grow closer to Him. Even though 2020 was tough for everyone, we wouldn’t trade it or change it, because we’ve grown closer to the Lord and have watched these children do the same. We’ve been refined by enduring our sufferings, challenges, and road blocks, and have found ourselves of stronger character (Romans 5:3-4). We feel like our network of support is stronger than ever before as more people are seeing the great need these kids have for opportunities to learn about life and Jesus. As we enter 2021, we are greatly encouraged that we will see our garden of righteousness grow in these chosen children, and are so thankful to the Lord for touching your hearts to support us in our efforts. May He continue to bless us and teach us in this new year what we need to learn, so we can continue to humbly represent Him in a world that we know rejects Him. But let us not feel great sorrow for that, but instead focus on the great joy and peace that comes only from knowing Him and that He has overcome all these things that will some day pass away. May God bless you and keep you.
Prayers: Pray for Mr. Steve as he recovers from recent back surgery, and for anyone who is suffering with sickness, that they may be healed in Jesus’ name. Please also pray for the COC directors as we embark on this new chapter of COC in 2021 through intentional small group discipleship.
In His Service,
Justin & Shannon Tellez
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