To the many people of New Zealand who watch our television program, receive our videos and Updates, who write to our ministry, ask for prayer and to whom I have met when I have visited your country to share faith in Christ, you along with all affected by the tragic shootings in Christchurch on Friday, are in my thoughts and I am praying for you at this time.
For many years Rosemary and I lived next door to a married couple and their two children who were committed Muslims. They were hard working family people of faith and peace who were excellent members of the community, who looked after our children and were there whenever we had needs. They cared for and loved all who came their way without prejudice. Today they have come to my mind.
It was during Friday prayers in two Mosques in Christchurch that the terror of the shootings so perversely interrupted what I am told is a time of deep prayer, introspection and reflection. News reports tell us that 49 people are dead, a similar number are injured with 20 people in a serious condition. This says nothing of the families directly affected by the loss and injury of loved ones or even for the extended family of the shooter, whose lives themselves will never be the same. This tragedy today has pierced the tranquillity of a country of peace and friendship.
It is times like these that, like so many people, I ask the questions, “where was God,” and “why would you allow this to happen, God?” To these questions, there is no easy answer. No platitudes or simple or complex answers that will suffice. We are left numb.
Evil is a reality. Human sickness exists. The conditioning of impressionable minds to bigotry and hate occurs causing division, persecution and death again and again in places all over the world.
As a Christ follower, I believe that Jesus came into this world to give His life to overcome all that would separate us from eternity through His life, death and resurrection which are the doorways to a new life beyond this life that can be experienced now, here on earth.
While not for a moment dulling the terror or the pain and suffering of loss that has occurred, Christ points to a new life that goes beyond the brokenness and limitations of our human condition. Words alone fall short in describing this new life that is accessed through a faith step of surrender.
No answer can soften the sadness or shock of this event but rather through our faith as Christians in Jesus Christ we can see beyond the limitations of this life with all of its frailties and sin to the hope of eternal life.
Religion has and does cause division, but today we must stand as human beings united under God with one another no matter what our experience of God might be.
Would all who are connected to our ministry in some way in countries all over the world, join me in praying for all affected by this tragedy, that they would experience the mercy and love of God.
You can write your prayers of intercession below.
As hard as it might be to understand at times, God is always with us in the midst of every situation in life.
Please know that my sincere and heartfelt prayers at this time are for you, the people of New Zealand.