Third Quarter Newsletter
What We Do at Not Alone Blind Internet Ministry:
· Provide a weekly devotional podcast message called “You’re Not Alone”
· Provide a Bible study podcast called “Room 4216”
· Serve the 52 Outreach Centers with a newsletter and leadership support
· Provide pastoral care and counseling that comes about from hearing the podcasts
· Raise financial support and awareness for Not Alone Blind Internet Ministry
Devotional Thoughts from Pastor Dave:
"It’s Not Fair!"
The past few months have been filled with many tragedies, including two hurricanes; destroying buildings, impacting many and killing others. The storm’s fury consumed young and old, rich and poor, innocent and guilty. It has led some to say that God is not fair.
In Luke 13, some people told Jesus about the Galileans who Pilate had killed and so their blood was mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered: "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those 18 who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were guiltier than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. “Luke 13:1-3
Jesus' answer goes to the heart of their question. They imply that God is wrong. God should repent. Jesus says that God never needs to repent ... people always do! The difficult truth is that Jesus lumped humanly initiated and natural disasters together and says: "So what! The rain and the sun come to the evil and to the just. Don’t think of the tragedy. Don’t think of who did what? Instead think of God. The important thing is to have God in the picture and get yourself right and keep yourself right with God.
St. Augustine noted that when barbarians sacked Rome, Christians and non-Christians suffered equally. Faith in Christ did not make people immune to tragedy. He wrote, in "City of God," "Christians differ from Pagans, not in the ills that befall them but in what they do with the ills that befall them." Faith doesn't give us a way around tragedy. It gives us a way through tragedy.
Faith also gives us a way through life. It is foreign to the way we might see as "normal" or "practical" or even "right." The soldiers thought it was "right" to crucify Jesus. It was not fare or right, but Jesus made it right, made good come from what was wrong. He took our sins, our guilt, our punishment upon himself on the cross. We are now forgiven!
Today, our faith, trust in god, works this way with us too. That which is not fare, that which is wrong, God makes it right, makes good come from what is wrong.
There are many people who have lost their physical sight because of a tragedy. This ministry, by your help, shares with them this message of hope, healing and love—in the midst of their personal tragedies.
Pastor Dave Andrus
A letter from a podcast listener who is blind
I've been faithfully downloading your Not-alone and Room 42:16 podcasts on my Victor Stream and have even shared a couple with some blind friends on Dropbox, trying to encourage them to get the podcasts as well. In fact, I've mentioned your programs on my own Facebook page for all my sightling readers!
I just want to tell you two what a blessing your podcasts have been to me. I sometimes hear the more lengthy ones when I'm exercising on the "Gazelle"-a piece of equipment on which one works both their arms and their legs. A good way to make maximum use of what would otherwise be boring exercise and get spiritually edified, too.
In closing, I do hope I can hear from you two sometime soon. Keep up the good and crazy work you're doing for Him! We need more of that humorous banter. Blessings!
Warmly in Him,
a letter from an outreach center leader who is blind
I was wondering with Hurricane Harvey if We have some Out reach centers in cities effected by the Hurricane if our local out reach centers can help them with out reach.
If there are any kind of donations they need like clothing or monetary help. Our September gathering is on Sep 9 and I can bring it up to the group.
Brian from Jefferson City, MO.
Yes, one of the 52 outreach centers is in Houston. It opened May 2009. It meets at Memorial Lutheran Church. In 2011 we received a call from the Pastor who asked for 12 copies of Luther’s Catechism in Braille, three copies of the LSB hymnal in Braille, and copies of “Portals of Prayer” to show and share. Obviously the center gathered an unusual large number of Braille readers. They feel welcome, safe, and loved at the center. They want to learn more about Jesus.
Based on Brian’s request from Jefferson City MO I reached out to Lara, a sighted volunteer of the outreach center in Houston. She wrote back:
So good to hear from you and to have your prayers. Most of the friends that come to the blind bible study live in assisted living apartments up off the ground. We have not had any calls from them. My mother said one gentleman, John, was at our regular Tuesday morning bible class today and doing well.
They will all get together the third Saturday this month and we will hear how they fared. I feel like there is every opportunity to get help.
This has been a wonderful experience in Houston of humans serving and sacrificing for one another just as God intended.
The group is consistently around 40 including 4-5 servers for lunch. I will pass along your message to those who are there every month.
God's many blessings,