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4/1 An Important Update from the Elders and the Virus Response Team

Dear Providence family and friends,

Many centuries ago, in the small city of Dothan, the prophet Elisha lived with his servant. One night the king of Syria, his sworn enemy, sent an army to surround the place where the prophet and his servant were staying – “So the king sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city” (2 Kings 6. 14).

In the morning, when Elisha’s servant woke and saw the great army arrayed against them, he cried out, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” Elisha then prayed that his servant would be able to see by faith, and not only by sight. Here is what happened next …

“Elisha said, ‘Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed …and the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

2 Kings 6. 16-17

This amazing encounter illustrates an important truth for God’s people – those who are with us are always more than those who may be against us. This is why our call is to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5.7), trusting that “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8. 37) since “no weapon that is fashioned against us shall succeed” (Isaiah 54.17).

Whether it be COVID-19, persecution, economic uncertainty, or even death, as God’s people we know that all is from the hand of God and (thus) all is under the control of God’s hand. Therefore we live fearlessly and courageously, making the most of every opportunity to love God and love our neighbors!

Over the past two evenings, the Virus Response Team (VRT) and the elders have met to think and pray through how to best shepherd, lead, and encourage the church in the midst of this pandemic. Out of great love for you, an even greater love for our Savior, and a strong confidence in God’s sovereign plan, here are some of the recent actions we took:

  • Due to Governor Wolf’s extension of stay-at-home directives until April 30, public worship on Lord’s Day at Providence will continue to remain cancelled. Please access our service via the live-stream! Additionally, all other church meetings will continue to be held on-line.
  • Sadly, we are suspending the celebration of Lord’s Supper until a future date.
  • Plans are well underway to hold a Good Friday service at 7pm next Friday, and an Easter service next Sunday at 1030am via live-stream. Invitations should be coming out via email – please forward these to family, friends, neighbors, etc!
  • The Women’s Conference scheduled for April 18 at Providence has been postponed until the Fall.
  • If you are able, please continue to send in your tithes & offerings to the church using our 2200 Krammes Road mailing address.
  • You should soon be receiving another email from our church giving you the opportunity to let us know if there any particular needs you (or your family) may have during this time. If you do have needs … please let us know!!
  • If you are able to help with mercy needs – delivering food, doing yard work, picking up supplies – for those who are in need, kindly send an email to info@providence-pca.org. Thank you!!!

I recently came across an older prayer that speaks well into our current season. As we trust the Lord for today, and everyday, would you pray it with me?

O gracious Father, for friends on our streets and in our churches, who wake up today with hard medical reports… dwindling financial resources… and stories where mortal men have brought harm and are fueling fears, bring the gospel to bear in profound, tangible and obvious ways. And use us, Father, as answers to the very prayers we pray. So we pray, in Jesus’ most glorious name. Amen.

Thankful for your friendship and partnership in the gospel!

Pastor Mark