Hi Church,

During this past week we ‘celebrated’ International Chocolate Day, and if you follow our church’s Facebook Page you possibly saw my story about the best chocolate I have ever eaten.

I am not normally a fan of food that has any sort of orange flavoured something in it. But a few years ago when Kelly and I were on our way to Mt. Everest Base Camp we had some Lindt Orange Chocolate given to us. We had just walked about a kilometre at an altitude higher than any point in Australia, and it was at a gradient which was 1m ‘up’ for every 3m ‘across’ (quite steep!). This 2 hour, 1km journey (Yes – that is a speed of 0.5km/h) was one of the most gruelling I had ever done (until the next day), and at the top, another man we were travelling with offered us a piece of this chocolate. Soo delicious, but it probably could have been anything, to be honest.

But I was reflecting on that journey, and how it was probably the most difficult thing that I have ever done, and yet that pales in significance when I compare it to the past 4 months that we have had as we have faced this COVID-19 pandemic.

And the best thing about the trek to Everest Base Camp is that there was an endpoint, and you got to a place where you could actually physically see it!

With this pandemic, it appears as the end is still not within our sights. We know what might bring about an end (a vaccine or treatment), and we can continue to pray for those people who are working on that, but until it comes, we continue to live in a time of waiting.

And the message of life and hope and salvation that Jesus gives to us can maybe be a little bit like that orange chocolate was to me. Something that I don’t normally love, became almost instantly palatable because of the situation I was in.

I encourage you to continue to share the message of Jesus with those who you are able to: your family, friends, neighbours, co-workers.

Maybe this COVID-19 Pandemic is something that God can use so that the message of life, forgiveness and salvation that we have in Jesus is received by those who previously have rejected it? As we read in Romans: How can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? (Romans 10:14)

I encourage you to be the one that tells them this week! Use this opportunity that God has placed in front of us to tell others about Him, so that we can continue to see His Kingdom grow.

In His service,
Pastor Ben Hentschke

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