Giving Thanks and Giving the Gospel

Coming to the end of the year and preparing for the next.

Like many of you on the other side of the world, last Thursday we gathered around the table to celebrate Thanksgiving. There are a few differences when you live so far away from where you were born. 

We didn’t take the time to track down a turkey this year, but enjoyed chicken and meatloaf instead. It is hot season here now, and it is almost too hot to enjoy eating rich Thanksgiving foods. And of course, while we got the blessing of gathering with our colleagues and friends the Chapmans this year, we missed out on seeing our families in Kentucky.

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday because of the simplicity of gathering around a table to eat and spend time together. But even though it isn’t a holiday that commemorates an event from Jesus’ life like Christmas or Easter, it is a holiday about the gospel nevertheless.

David commands us, “Oh give thanks the the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples” (1 Chron 16:8)!

Biblical thanksgiving always results in giving the gospel to the nations. If we have a God whose care for us deserves such deep thanks, then we also have a God that deserves to be known by all peoples.

So it is appropriate that as we transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas, we keep God’s mission at the center of our minds and hearts. It is appropriate that we give all he has given us for his glory to the ends of the earth.

College students learning about God's holiness.

Taking a break. Preparing for a new year.

With the coming of December, all of our classes at Shepherds Academy have come to an end. Our five college students finished their final assignments last week, and I’m amazed at how they have each grown through the experience.

All of us, however, are ready for some time off. In December, we all get the chance to slow down, spend time with family, and celebrate the Lord’s birth. I, for one, am looking forward to the change in pace.

In January, we start back up with an intensive college class on Personal Evangelism and Discipleship taught by Dr. Chuck Henderson from FBC Henderson, Kentucky and Dr. John Newland from Fall Creek Church in Indianapolis. This will be an exciting class to kick off the new year with because it will not stay in the classroom. Students will actually go out in the community and practice what they are learning.

Installation of a solar well in the Lower Shire.

Planting seeds of self-sufficiency

One new project that we are really excited about is the development of our Lower Shire campus into a working farm that will help our work here become more self-sufficient. We’ve been blessed by a generous donation that is allowing us to erect perimeter security around our 6 acres in the Lower Shire and develop a solar powered well for irrigation.

With this investment, we will be able to raise three crops per year, as well as raise goats for meat. Raising our own food will greatly reduce our operational costs in the coming years and make pastor training more self-sufficient.

Year-End Giving

As you prayerfully approach the end of the year, please consider giving an extra donation to Gospel Life. Year-end gifts always make up a major part of our budget annually, and they allow us to start the new year with greater focus.

Joshua Hutchens

Joshua Hutchens

Joshua Hutchens (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a missionary to Malawi and president of Gospel Life. Before becoming president of Gospel Life, he served as a pastor in Kentucky. He is married to Stacy Leigh, and they have five children.

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