Life seems to move so fast these days that I rarely have time to stop, reflect and thank God for His goodness to me and our ministry in CLC. I am sure that it is this human tendency to focus on the future that led God to insist that the people of Israel build altars and monuments to His faithfulness.
This past week, three events converged in my life that are all markers of God’s goodness, love and watch care for me and the CLC ministry that I lead. I kicked off the week by joining a group of sixty people who helped to move our Chestnut Hill store to its new location at the Cedarbrook Plaza. This plan had been in the works for several months and lots of preparation had been made for this day. As normally happens in these kind of events, there are couple of glitches. In our case, I showed up at the the new store with all of the Bibles and my key did not work on the door. Once we got the door open, we discovered that the air conditioning did not work yet. (It did finally get fixed by Wednesday). Despite these challenges, everyone pitched in and the vast majority of the fixtures and products were moved in one day. We were all exhausted, but also gratified at how we had been able to work together. The new location is smaller than the old one, but very strategically located to meet the needs of our customers. We were able to open again for business on Thursday and are still unpacking boxes to find where we put everything. There is still more work to be done as we seek to display things in the new surroundings. On Saturday, I stopped by the store and was delighted to see that lots of people had found us already and were excited about this new place of ministry. Many of them commented that our new location was even more convenient than where we had been and some even said that that they looked forward to helping us in the days ahead and volunteering when possible.
On Tuesday, a long standing prayer was answered as a container was delivered, filled, inspected and sent on its way to Liberia. We had been waiting for many months for that day to arrive and had to see many obstacles overcome for this to be possible. We had hoped to have been able to ship the container much earlier in the year, but that was apparently not God’s plan. Instead, we learned a great deal about shipping to Liberia and how things must be inspected properly which will help us with all our future shipments. This container is filled with the books and Bibles that will allow the CLC work to begin again in Monrovia after 15 years of being closed due to the devastating civil war. What a great irony that the week this container was sent on its way, Charles Taylor (the leader of Liberia during some of its darkest days) was sentenced to 50 years in prison for his war crimes. Many people all over the United States contributed to this project by donating their quality used Christian books, their time (as volunteers) and their money. May God speed this container on its way so that it arrives in time to allow the store to get opened this September.
In the middle of the week, I had the joy of training our new summer interns – Matt, Jen, and Richard. Matt and Richard are students from Cedarville University and will be working in our finance department. Matt will be working in the UK and Richard will be working with our team here in the USA. Jen will be working with our editorial team. Each one of them represents God’s faithfulness in bringing young people to be a part of our ministry. Every year our interns learn about what God may have planned for their future and we learn much from them about how God is working in this emerging generation. I look forward to seeing how God will bless them this year and how they will be a blessing to us as we work together. We serve a good and faithful God.