Waiting upon the Lord in Karamoja

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7–8). The call to follow Christ is a call to a life of waiting. We see it in these words of James and in so many other places in Scripture. These past months, in my times of devotional reading, I have been reminded of how much the theme of waiting pervades the Psalms. I have often run into words like these words of David: “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Ps. 27:14). This has encouraged me, particularly as our team in Karamoja has been and continues to be in something of a waiting phase. Last year ended with us having to bid farewell to much-loved friends and teammates. After that, we waited for our new pastor, along with his family. David Robbins and ... Read more

One Body in Christ

You never know who is going to show up at church. The church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Reformed Presbyterian Church in Delmas), has a regular stream of visitors. Back in 2014, I received an e-mail from an Orthodox Presbyterian pastor in Ohio. He wanted to inform me that two Haitian men who were studying in the United States had become members of his local OP congregation. Since they were returning to Haiti after completing their studies, he wanted to connect them with the mission work in Haiti. One Sunday, not long after this email exchange, our family was worshipping at the Port-au-Prince church. We had arrived early, after the hour-long drive into the city. As people arrived and gathered for Sunday school, we greeted folks and asked about their week. On this particular morning, I greeted a man whom I did not recognize. He introduced himself as Bernard—one of the two men who were members of the OP congregation in Ohio. He had arrived back in his home country and had found the church. The Scriptures ... Read more

Hurt, Forgiveness, and Healing in the Church: Admission of Sin as the Gateway to Forgiveness

“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, … that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:22–23). On the last night before he died, Christ prayed for his disciples and those who would come after them. Jesus’ prayer is the model of what he has created the church to be, and what the world is to conclude when viewing the church. In this article, I offer a few simple thoughts about what we can do to more closely approach our Savior’s desire for us as members of his body. It is surely no accident that the apostle Paul, speaking as the inspired author of the Pastoral Epistles in the New Testament, spends considerable time discussing controversy within the church. There was plenty of it to discuss! In addition, all of the Gospels pointedly dwell on the infighting and rivalry among Jesus’ disciples. We modern Presbyterians may often despair at the discord within our circles, but Scripture makes it clear ... Read more