You’re probably familiar with the insurance company whose TV commercials feature the tagline, “Mayhem is everywhere. Are you in good hands?” A man in a black suit acts the part of a deer standing in the road, a texting teen, a faulty GPS; and the commercial always ends with an accident. The lesson is that there are certain things in life you just cannot prepare for, so you’d better have good insurance. This lesson certainly is true. Life is full of unexpected difficulties—sickness, death, disasters—for which we can never be fully prepared.
Since 1984, the CLC’s Project KINSHIP has provided financial support for orphans and seminary students through the direct sponsorships of CLC members. Still, life provides many difficulties which cannot be foreseen. To aid our oversees brethren through these trials, disbursements are regularly made from the KINSHIP General Fund. This past year, the rainy season in Myanmar brought widespread flooding, displacing over 100,000 people from their homes and destroying eighty percent of the farm crops. In recent years, there have also been the widely publicized earthquakes in Nepal and a rather destructive cyclone in India. In each of these instances, the Lord blessed KINSHIP with the ability to send financial relief for our brethren from the KINSHIP General Fund.
Further aid was sent this past year to help V.S. Benjamin, who had been hospitalized with lung problems. At Christmastime, gifts were sent to two congregations of lepers within the BELC. There are many widows of former pastors in Nigeria and India who all receive modest financial support from the KINSHIP General Fund. In addition to all of these unforeseen difficulties, the General Fund is also used to support the two CLC-Kenya schools, in Etago and Moi’s Bridge.
Due to an increase in disbursements in recent years, the KINSHIP General Fund has gone down significantly. In January 2015, the fund held a balance of $47,000. This January, the fund held $12,500. Nevertheless, there is reason for optimism. To the question, “Are you in good hands?” we can confidently answer, “Yes.” We are in the hands of a loving God. A God who not only knows and plans for all of our unexpected difficulties, but also a God whose hands were outstretched to bear the punishment for our most significant problem. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 ESV) We remain in good hands.
Samuel Rodebaugh is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Winter Haven, Florida.