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An update on the ministry of Jason and Kristine Stryd 
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"Lead me to a Rock that is Higher than I"

Its a pretty good clue that a lot is going on in my heart when all it takes is a worship song that we sing along with others over a Facebook live page to begin to bring tears.  So many feelings in such a crazy time stuffed down in my soul.   

Innumerable fears that arise throughout the day about this virus, its global spread and what in the world is happening.  

Guilt that I can do nothing but sit in my nice house with my family whom I actually enjoy while others serve on the front lines risking their lives and still others reside as refugees and in poverty without homes, health care and no way to avoid what is coming…

Tired because parenting our two intense children in a moment when they are as emotionally affected as we are yet lacking insight to even understand that, demands new daily grace. 

Burdened by the 1000’s of Albanians in Boston that in ways big and small I am seeking to shepherd in this crucial moment who are without hope and without God.  

I am feeling at the same time numb to others suffering and broken by it, grateful for what I have and wondering how long i will have it, hopeful in the promises of God and having a really hard time believing them.  

I know that one of the biggest challenge in these days for me as a husband, father, family member,  friend, and pastor is to untangle and surface all of these emotions and feelings so that they can be named, understood and brought to my loving God and to his Word.

I have been reminded that this is a time for Lament.  I believe in a sovereign God who rules over this world in love and power so that not a single hair can fall from my head apart form his will.  So this either requires me to stuff down all my questions and doubts in silence or cry out to Him in honesty and hurt.   Either I numb myself with Netflix and gardening or I wrestle openly with my God. Where is He? Why does He not stop this? What is He doing and when will he bring this to an end?


I know He is good and wise and that even this He will redeem for his glory and our good.  But that promise at times pales as we witness the pain and panic of a pandemic.   

 

So like you this is where I am stuck, grasping for something to hold on to as our world is shaken and overturned.   Trying to father my children through fear with football games and family time around the fire, trying to shepherd the Albanian community with hope and His Word, trying to stay healthy and present, compassionate and kind, generous and grateful all the while a plague spreads.  

"Lead me to a Rock that is Higher than I", the Psalmist prayed.

That sure strikes a cord in my heart today and even as I write, unleashes the tears to flow.  

As the water rises and the waves roll, as the sky darkens and the storm billows... Lead me to a Rock that is higher than I!


 
I've been posting gospel reflections in Albanian on our ministry's facebook page - If you want to hear some Albanian or forward to Albanian friends check it out here!

 

Ministry - For such a time as this!

 

In the midst of the chaos and this crisis the hope and security of the gospel shines even brighter.  When men and women’s hope and security in other things is stripped away, there is incredible opportunity to share the good news that we have a hope built not on our bank accounts, retirement funds, job prospects, health or even life.   Those around us, including Albanians, are ready to hear this in ways they have never been. Because of that I am seeing incredible opportunities to share the good news with the Albanians community.

 

 2 Minute Videos 

The last few months I have been working on preparing short 2 minute video reflections on a Bible passage to post on our Facebook page.  I had done 3 of them before the Corona-virus started, each time refining the method and logistics of these. Providentially it was just in time for this season.  The last two weeks I have been posting these videos every 2-3 days. Before the corona-virus a video would get maybe 20-30 views on Facebook, yet the ones I have been posting have gotten anywhere between 200 - 1000 views.   This is a sign of the longing of Albanians right now for a good word of hope. Providentially technology presents a way for this to happen and I am trying to seize this moment. It is not that the videos are done incredibly well or I am super eloquent in Albanian, but many of this spreads through the relationships of those I have served and loved on in the community, where here in Boston or in Philly.

    Would you pray that we continue to use Social media to spread the hope of the gospel and for God to awaken the Albanian community to the good news of Jesus!

Mercy 

    I have been praying and thinking a lot about how we serve the community in tangible ways during this crisis when we can’t be physically present.  One of the strategies I am moving forward is helping Albanians apply for unemployment who have lost their work because of the closure of their workplace due to the corona-virus shutdown.  For those whose English isn't excellent navigating an online application like that is very difficult. This gives me a chance to serve them and also pray with them and share with them.  

    Would you pray that God gives us wisdom and creativity with methods like this to put the love of Jesus into action during this strange time?

 

Shepherding 

    For me and each of the believers it is an important time to be caring for those Albanians with whom we have connection.  Again with zoom or social media this is very easy. Would you pray that God would open doors for us to counsel, encourage, and share Jesus with many Albanians.  

 

Albanian Believers 

    Through prayer meetings and online conversations we are trying to encourage one another and bless one another not just in Boston but also in our network of Albanian believers throughout North America.  We know God often uses trials to grow faith and restore passion and perspective. Would you pray for the Albanian believers to thrive in faith, love their families well and be salt and light to the world around them? 

 

This crisis is a challenging moment but also a crucial moment for believers and God’s church.  Thank you for praying and supporting our work among the Albanian Diaspora especially in this season!

 

If there are specific ways that we can pray for you please let us know!!! 

 

In the security and stability of Jesus Christ!

Jason, Kristine, Caleb and Evette 

 

God provides for our ministry through the generosity of churches and individuals like you.  If you are interested in financially supporting our ministry you can mail your donation to:

Mission to North America - PO Box 890233
Charlotte, NC 28289-0233

▪ Please make your checks payable to Mission to North America with a note accompanying the check or money order indicating Christ the King and Jason Stryd

 

You can also make  donations online by credit card and/or set up a recurring donation

 ​https://www.egsnetwork.com/gift2?giftid=7156A875FA4C44A

 


 
Copyright © 2020 Jason Stryd, All rights reserved.


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