Saturday, December 22, 2012

You Were Here (revised)

You were here
one night, in a stable
dressed in rags and
the Glory of Heaven
You came
to dress us in your righteousness; amid
the thickness of life, the heady scent
of sheep and cattle
in the dirt and dark
You were light
among kings and common men
You were Lord and Servant
and all bowed

You were here
You were visible, the image
of the invisible God
the life of stars and hallelujahs
grace of galaxies in the unfurling rose
You were the vastness of the universe
cradled in a mother's arms
You were, and are, the song of angels
the quiet hope of longing hearts
the long-awaited culmination
of all of history
until the moment You were born

You were here
on earth, physical and tangible
the breath of the world in Your human lungs
and the breath of God in Your infant's cry
a human child, the Son of Man
the Living God with a tiny heartbeat
and tiny hands and feet
that would be pierced for our transgressions
the soft downy head of a baby
that would one day wear a crown of thorns
the little chubby arms
that would one day spread wide on a cross
to save the world

You were here
You came
and even if the stars shone brighter
or the roses smelled sweeter
or the bright air was thicker and more humming with life
on the night You came
the world held no beauty but this:

You were here

Missions Connection, Volume IV

 (From Thursday, December 13)

Can you believe there are less than two weeks until Christmas?

If you’re anything like me, you especially enjoy observing children at this time of year. There is something about the way children experience Christmas, the music and decorations, the traditions, and especially when you know a child understands the true meaning of the holiday, that makes the season richer and more wonderful.

As Charles Dickens wrote in his classic novel, A Christmas Carol, “It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”

It is this time when our Lord was a child that we think most about reaching those children who may not have experienced the unfathomable love that Jesus became a baby so He could show us. Children in Africa are among poorest in the world, with the most limited access to education, food, clean water, and health care. Out of every 10 children in the world living with AIDS, nine live in Africa. This is an area of the world that desperately needs the hope and love of Jesus.

Solid Rock supports two missionary families who work specifically with children and children’s workers in Africa.

Chris and Heidi Ness, along with their children, will begin a new missionary term in Ethiopia in July of next year. This is a nation that has been greatly affected by famines, wars and oppressive regimes in recent decades.

It has begun to recover in recent years, and Christianity flourishes where the seed is planted, but Sunday School teachers and Children’s Ministers have little or no resources to work with. The Nesses have a strong passion to not only train Sunday School teachers and Children’s Ministers, but to provide them with resources in their native language. Visit to learn more about the Nesses and their work.

Doug and Tasha Myers are another missionary family working in Africa. Currently on furlough, they will return to Swaziland in October of next year. Swaziland is struggling with the highest HIV rate in the world, which has resulted in the largest percentage of orphans per population of any country in the world.

Doug and Tasha have a passion for underprivileged children and have been training children's workers in churches throughout the nation. Their mission is to empower the local church in Swaziland to be the hands of Christ extended to their communities. Go to to find out more about their mission work.

One of the most effective ways to help a child in need and break the cycle of poverty is child sponsorship. Compassion International is an organization that has been at the forefront of child sponsorship since 1952. Compassion exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.

When you choose to sponsor a child, you ensure that that child will have ongoing Christian training, educational opportunities, access to health care, development of self-confidence and social skills, and education in key life skills and vocational programs. You can also specify the age, gender, and region of the world, such as Africa, even to the specific country, as well as other factors that affect your sponsored child.

You may think, “But with so many children in the world who are in need, what difference will my sponsoring one child make?” It may not seem like it means much to help one child in the world, but to that one child, it means the world.

Visit to learn more about sponsorship and their other programs, as well as other ways that you can help children in need all over the world. You can also visit the Guest Services table in the foyer on Sunday to pick up a child sponsorship brochure.

Child sponsorship would make a great Christmas gift for anyone, especially your own children. As we celebrate the birth of one Child, you can be a part of giving the greatest Christmas gifts any child could ever receive—the gift of the Gospel for the sponsored child, and the gift of giving for your own.

May the Word of Christ dwell in you richly and may your life have the greatest possible impact on Eternity, and Merry Christmas!

In Christ,

Rhonda Watts
Missions Coordinator
Solid Rock Community Church