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Remember
Rod Boyd

Remember

RememberThere are historic moments that we never forget. Do you remember where you were on that Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001? I sure do; in a hotel room in Springfield, MO, getting ready to drive to the LACC office. I watched a replay of the plane that hit the first tower in shock and anguish, and then live video of the attack on second tower. In a moment, our world turned upside down. We were crushed, our innocence lost.

RememberI also remember President Bush’s famous bullhorn speech at Ground Zero three days after the attacks, with images of the firefighters raising the flag and makeshift memorials to fallen and missing first responders forever etched in my memory. As painful as it is to remember 9/11, the days that followed stir memories of unity and hope, resolve and compassion.

RememberThe Covid-19 pandemic is turning our world upside down, again. The virus has wreaked havoc everywhere… death, prolonged illness, economic loss and complete disruption of normal life. Panama declared a national state of emergency weeks ago. This week we celebrate our 50-day home quarantine jubilee! We are grateful that we are safe and sound. We check in regularly with our kids, grandkids and family who are also doing well. We are in communication with our schools. Our ministry team is working from home, doing our best to respond to need and facilitate ministry.

Remembering brings hope

In the midst of these very trying times, we’re thankful that the peace of God guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). He stands sentry, protecting us from any threat – worry, trauma, despair. He helps us to remember what is important. God applies his Word like salve to a hurting heart in a quiet moment and breaks through noise and bustle with a verse or a song to remind us of his faithfulness.

The book of Joshua has been so important to us in our missionary ministry, even more so in the last few years. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Lord spoke to me from the first stanza of the song Do It Again (Elevation Worship):

Walking around these walls.
I thought by now they'd fall.
But You have never failed me yet.

Whether intended or not, the first stanza of the song is right out of the story of Israel marching around the city of Jericho (Joshua 6). I can imagine myself as one of the Israelites on the fourth lap around the city! Silently trodding along, obedient but wondering why, the Lord reminds me that He’s never failed me yet. Even when I don’t know why, He knows best.

RememberI was cleaning out files the other day and ran across the issue of the May 30, 1993 issue of the Pentecostal Evangel that announced our missionary candidate group. The Lord reminded me that his words to Joshua “Be strong a courageous, because…” (Joshua 1:6), words that He used to launch us into missionary ministry, are still in effect. He needs us strong to finish the work.

The story in Joshua chapter three of the crossing of the Jordan River has been especially important in the construction of the Latin America Resource & Training Center. It wasn’t until the priests stepped foot in the Jordon that the river stopped flowing (3:15-17). And then the priests had to stand in the middle, watching a mountain of stacked-up water, until the whole nation had crossed over. We had to step out in faith if God was going to fulfill the vision that He gave to us more than 12 years ago and have had to stand firm in the middle of very overwhelming circumstances. He has never failed us yet!

A hopeful way to remember the Covid-19 pandemic

After the nation of Israel had crossed over the Jordan River, the Lord instructed the leaders of the twelve tribes to take a stone from the middle of the riverbed, from where the priests were standing with the Ark, and build a memorial for all generations, an altar of God’s faithfulness to his people (Joshua 4:7). We need to do the same in our hearts.

RememberHow will we remember the Covid-19 pandemic after we cross over? The God of peace wants to do more than just protect us from the bad. He wants to help us create lasting memories, images of how he was and is faithful to us. One such experience will be etched into my memory forever. On Easter Sunday, a group of policemen visited our street to encourage us during the quarantine. They set up a sound system, encouraged hundreds of residents in our tower apartments to walk out onto our balconies or open our windows. One of the policemen began to lead us in a chorus (Cuando levanto mis manos/ When I lift up my hands), preached a gospel message of hope in Christ, invited us to receive the Lord as Savior and encouraged solidarity. It was absolutely amazing; see for yourself on my Facebook page!

How will we remember this experience? Let us take memories from this most overwhelming place that we find ourselves and build an altar in our hearts. And let us declare to all generations the greatness of God’s faithfulness, just like the chorus of the song:

Your promise still stands.
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness.
I'm still in Your hands.
This is my confidence; You've never failed me yet.

Remember.