I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Doves Going to Nigeria with Rafiki Foundation

For centuries, the faithful Church has prayed,

Almighty God, look mercifully upon the world which thou hast redeemed by the blood of thy dear Son, and incline the hearts of many to dedicate themselves to the sacred Ministry of thy Church; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (Book of Common Prayer 1928).

Ronda and Gehrig DoveInsofar as mission is an integral part of the Church’s ministry to our broken, ignorant, hurting, gospel-needing world, God has given a personal answer to that prayer through two friends of ours.

Our dear brother and sister in Christ, Gehrig and Ronda Dove, have answered the Lord’s call to serve him in Africa through the powerful and faithful ministry of the Rafiki Foundation.  Rafiki is a unique missional organization, which truly seeks to give flesh and bone to St. James’ description of “pure religion,” which is to “visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction” (1:27). 

The mission of the Rafiki Foundation is to help Africans know God by caring for and educating orphans, providing materials and training in education and Bible study, and giving economic opportunities to widows. 

The Doves are currently preparing to leave their home in Lexington, Virginia for Nigeria by April 20, if passports and other logistical needs come through.  I know there is still much demanding their attention on the home front.  So, I would challenge you to support these two in the good work on which they are embarking for Christ’s namesake.  Please pray for them.  You can better know how to pray by reading their current newsletters and adding your name to their newsletter updates through email.  I would also challenge you to consider offering the Doves financial support .  There are a number of uncertainties before the Doves, but one thing is not: they are palpably aware of their utter dependence upon God’s mercy, grace, and blessings for each day and those ahead. 

So, just know, “beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brethren, strangers as they are...You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God.  For they have gone out for the sake of the name...Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth” (3 Jn. 5—8). 

O LORD, our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; We beseech thee to bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of their fellow men. Endue them with wisdom, patience, and courage to strengthen the weak and raise up those who fall; that, being inspired by thy love, they may worthily minister in thy Name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the sake of him who laid down his life for us, the same thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen (BCP 1928). 

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