Living through a Gray Zone
This past week I listened to a sermon from Pastor Mike Kelsey at McLean Bible Church. He talked a lot about the anxiety and fear that so many of us are living with these days. I think a lot of us can relate to this and see things changing around us, accelerated by a pandemic, crazy advances in technology such as AI, and major cultural shifts that concern us. He talked about this as a transitional period, an overlap between not only generations but eras. Pastor Mark Sayers calls these periods in history “gray zones.” Mike discussed how gray zones are times of anxiety and confusion and lead to a culture of fear. He said, “It’s a transitional period where one era is ending, and another era is beginning, and it’s this transitional period where it feels like everything is just up in the air - everything that you’ve come to know and rely on and everything that was at one point predictable and seemed normal and may have even been desirable is now like sands sifting underneath our feet.”
"Yes, there are times when it appears as if the darkness is winning. When the direction of culture, the circumstances of our lives, the poverty of spiritual life among God’s people seems tilted toward difficulty, decline, and even death rather than renewal. This is particularly true during our gray zone moment. The church seems divided, the culture unraveling, and the world reeling toward chaos. Yet, at moments like ours, we must remember that God has seeded the world with His dream of renewal."
― Mark Sayers, A Non-Anxious Presence: How a Changing and Complex World will Create a Remnant of Renewed Christian Leaders
Is anyone else feeling this? I know we have been feeling it for the past couple of years.
Add to this that during this past year, Eric and I have felt called to ministry full-time. After God’s leading, Eric walked away from his well-paying corporate job with benefits and insurance last August to commit his leadership skills to E4 Project. God called us, and we answered - and in a time of anxiety and fear all around us, we are choosing to trust Jesus daily, for His provision is all we have. It is the only way we can find peace and continue serving Him daily with our whole lives. But isn’t this what God calls us all to do? We know that we will never find peace and contentment in what the world has to offer. We can only find this in Jesus, and we are excited to be on this adventure with Him as we lean on him daily in ways we haven’t had to before.
So what does this mean for E4 Project and all of us? First and foremost, we must remember daily that we do not belong to this world. We belong to the eternal Kingdom of Christ. John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” During this transitional time in our world, we need to choose to trust God and release any anxiety and fear we have as we focus on the eternal Kingdom to come. Have Eric and I done this perfectly? Nope, not at all. We have moments each week where we start trying to control our situation, and anxiety creeps in. But, we continue to ask for forgiveness, pray, and return to trusting Him daily - and there we find our peace. It isn’t something we all can do once, it is a daily practice to live like this.
At E4 Project, this means that we trust God daily with providing for our needs too. This ministry is in His hands, and we hold everything loosely as we entrust it all to Him. It has been a transitional couple of years for us as a ministry as well. The pandemic impacted us significantly as we couldn’t send teams or our staff to Africa, the countries we served in were locked down, and our leaders couldn’t accomplish many of our goals. We have also ended a couple of programs as God led us, and have started a new program in Pakistan. We also have a new agriculture program starting in Gabon this week as well. During this transition we have been impacted financially over the last couple of years, however, we are still very excited about all that we are doing. We continue to foster our relationships in Gabon, the DRC, and Pakistan and look toward more travel to each country.
We know that while we are here on earth, our purpose is to love God and love others and to add people to the Kingdom. We do this through our leaders in Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now Pakistan as we continue and start new programs in public health, community development, and training. But we need your help. We cannot do this without you. We ask that you pray for us and our local program leaders. Consider supporting us financially. Share about our ministry with others and at the churches you attend. Contact us if you would like more information about anything.
We need your partnership.