Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. - Hebrews 13:1-3 NASB

HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!

I welcome you as we join with all the churches around the world in celebrating the empty tomb, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Everything that Christians believe hinges on the fact that Christ is risen from the dead. Our belief in this simple Easter story and trust in the One who is risen gives us Life, Joy, Hope, and Restoration! As we celebrate today, let us also remember those who are being persecuted around the world for faithfully following Christ. One in particular is Andrew Brunson. He is an American pastor who has peacefully lived in Turkey with his family since 1993 and has planted several churches. Brunson and his wife, Norine, were taken into custody in October 2016. Norine was later released, but Brunson remains imprisoned on charges his supporters say are false. He has been accused of having ties to the U.S.-based Muslim cleric who is blamed for Turkey’s failed coup last July. Brunson’s sister, Beth Hartman, remains hopeful despite the trials her brother is facing. Hartman states, “We have a strong faith in God … We believe God is with him and he'll make it through this.” Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope. With that in mind, let us pray for the Brunson family as we celebrate Christ’s victory over death on the cross. 

Hallelujah! HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

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