New life in Christ

May 10, 2017 at 6:00 AM

moyobamba-sombraros.jpg
Cleft palate patients at Asociacion San Lucas in Moyobamba, Peru, perform at the 25th anniversary celebration in 2015.  (Photo by Nathan Stob)

New life in Christ

By Dr. Greg Kuiper

Spring has long been my favorite season of the year. As temperatures rise, winter’s icy grip is broken. The days lengthen and I no longer drive in the dark when going to work and returning home.

New life is evident everywhere you look. Grass awakens from its winter slumber and greens up almost overnight in response to refreshing spring rains. Birds return and seem to sing with delight as they busy themselves making nests for their eggs. Trees no longer look like skeletons, but fill out with fresh leaves to again provide a canopy of shade amidst bright spring sunshine. A spirit of optimism and expectation rises in our hearts and minds.

As followers of Jesus, Easter represents the pinnacle of the new life we celebrate each spring. We readily recognize the broken condition from which we have been rescued to receive new life in Christ.

I recall a recent visit to the Luke Society ministry in Moyobamba, Peru, in which I was overwhelmed with a spring-like sense of optimism and eager anticipation.

Asociacion San Lucas (ASL) works with children who have the misfortune of being born with a cleft lip and/or palate. If these defects are not repaired, these children are at high risk of nutritional deficiency from not being able to eat properly. Additionally, they face speech and hearing difficulties and the very real risk of being ostracized by society because they do not look “normal.”

Peruvian specialists visit ASL to perform the delicate surgeries needed to repair the defects. A comprehensive follow up and rehabilitation program geared toward the special needs of each child is carried out by the ASL team.

So it was with joy that I witnessed groups of these children thriving after their repairs. They participated in speech and music programs and performed in front of crowds of people without the slightest bit of self-consciousness. I quietly pondered how different life might have been without the life-changing intervention they had experienced.

In the midst of these thoughts I was reminded of the powerful and restorative impact of what the Lord does for each of us who follow Him. We are given fresh insights into who we are and how we can serve Him with renewed enthusiasm and confidence because we are no longer living in the broken condition that once enslaved us.

Accepting Jesus’ gift of new life brings fresh perspective to the purpose and potential for which we have been created. It has done the same for many of the children who have not only graduated from the ASL cleft palate program, but also accepted Jesus as their Savior over the past 26 years.

Please be in prayer for this ministry as the team of Peruvian surgeons will be operating to bring new hope to the lives of many more of these children May 11-13, 2017.

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