“Together from Crisis to Hope”

This was the theme of the 2024 World Without Orphans Global Forum, which I had the privilege to attend alongside childcare practitioners, business leaders, church leaders and people of faith all joined for one cause – caring for orphans in Jesus’ name. Collaboration with hundreds of people dedicated to this work was so inspiring.

When given time to think about what my time meant at the forum, I went on a mountain to pray at sunrise for orphans and Christian workers in the field. I looked out over the view of an expansive jungle in northern Thailand, and I thought about our partners in Myanmar. This jungle resembles the terrain that fleeing children would seek safety in. They are all displaced due to war and its increasing violence, and our partners care for these displaced children and share the gospel with them. The children in Myanmar have fled their families with only their hope to survive. But in the midst of this crisis, they have encountered the only true and enduring hope, Jesus Christ. That morning as I prayed over the crises Christians in the world are facing, I ended my reflection on this verse:

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

Throughout the rest of the forum, I just could not get out of my mind that God was making new wine out of each of us. Like the grapes, we are hard pressed on all sides, disoriented, and thrown into crisis. But from this chaos, we are refined and processed and then poured into a new skin where our lives are transformed into something deep and full of complex flavor as time grows. As we reach the final days leading up to Easter, I remember the crises faced by the early church, as Christ suffered death despite his innocence. I remember that Jesus drank from the cup and broke the bread with them. He became the new wine poured out on earth and created a new covenant with us, one of the pain to come, bound tightly to a hope that endures forever.

But there is also no place without hope.

Not one place is without orphans. Not one place is in perfect peace. The church is under immense persecution to this day. But there is also no place without hope. I pray for the new wine of hope to pour out over Asia. That we will see renewing and refining in the hearts of all people facing crisis. I hope for a world where every child is loved by a family and every community knows the love of their creator, and let us not forget that this begins in Christ, together.