KNOW CHRIST AND MAKE HIM KNOWN
EAST MINISTRY UPDATE

by Elder Mike Alcantara
Chairman, Board of Elders

BROKEN

Recent events have pointed us to brokenness – the Mamasapano tragedy led to broken families, broken lives, broken dreams, broken hearts, etc. Closer at home, here in GCF East we have the Orillanes family losing everything when their house burned. Tears were shed, questions raised. Why? Why, oh God? Sad to say, I can offer no answer. I can only offer hope.

In Acts 27 we see Paul being sent to Rome as a prisoner along with others. After landing in Myra in Lycia, they changed ships, hopping on board one that came from Alexandria. After taking a violent battering from a storm, they began to throw cargo overboard. In verse 20 we read: “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.” The “we” here includes Luke, the writer and Paul!

When the ship ran aground, the soldiers planned to kill the prisoners (including Paul) to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. But then, God’s sovereignty steps in. In verse 43 we read: “But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land.” And here is what I would like to highlight – verse 44: “The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety.”

Beloved, it was God’s will for Paul to go to Rome. Paul was not going to die in the hands of the soldiers nor drown in the sea. God’s sovereignty made sure of that. The ship was God’s instrument in bringing this about, even though it broke because of the storm, and they ended up landing in Malta. Just like this ship, we too are God’s instrument, God’s vessel if you will, in carrying out His will. According to our passage, how did everyone reach land in safety? From broken pieces of the ship.

Who can better comfort somebody who lost a husband in the line of duty than somebody who has lost a husband in the line of duty. Who can better understand somebody who lost everything in a fire than somebody who has lost everything in a fire. Who can better come alongside parents of a special-needs child than parents who are raising a special-needs child themselves. Who can better minister to somebody who’s lost a child than somebody who has also lost a child. Broken families, broken lives, broken dreams, broken hearts.

You see, nothing is ever wasted in the economy of our God and Father. Take heart because God can use even our brokenness for noble purposes. Hallowed be the name of the Lord.