Our Season of Suddenly

Leaving family, friends, and the familiarity of home, and moving to Zurich in
2002 was an adventure and a transition we could never have imagined.
Becoming members and serving IBCZ over these last fourteen years has blessed
us in more ways than can be counted and we are overjoyed at every opportunity
and occasion we’ve had to learn and serve. During this time we’ve watched
several of our parents age and enter the next life and our own children marry
and begin a family of their own; while these events tug at our heart strings we
realize each change requires total and complete trust in the God we have come to
know and love who knows each step of the plans he has made for our lives.

Having spent this past winter in the states, one of the final messages I heard
preached was entitled “A Season of Suddenly”. The pastor spoke of God’s kingdom
as a kingdom of seasons for our lives and reminded us that God does not use
social media to post his plan for us; we do not necessarily know at what time or
stage in life a new season will begin or for that matter when it will end. He also
defined seasons in terms of time: chronological (kronos) time and God’s divinely
appointed time (kairos) further stating that man’s kronos is often interrupted by
the kairos of God. Is it possible that in your comfort zone you made plans to do
one thing when God stepped in and interrupted your plans? I know ours has
been and this is yet another opportunity for God to take us to a place we’ve never
been before but somehow there is a sense of familiarity without knowing exactly
what God is doing with us. The Bible offers many examples of God’s interruptions
and of sudden unexpected appearances in the lives of people he loves:

Abraham and Sarah enjoying God’s gift of their firstborn son – Gen. 22:2, Heb.
Moses in the desert running away from Pharaoh – Exodus 3; Acts 7
Gideon hiding out in the winepress – Judg. 6
The Lord suddenly appearing in his temple Mal. 3:1
Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him Acts 9:3; 22:6
Peter released from prison Acts 12: 5-12
Angel of the Lord appeared in a dream Matt. 1:20; 2:12-13,19
Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel Lk. 2:13
Suddenly Jesus met them Mt. 28:9
Suddenly two men in clothes gleaming like lightning stood beside them Lk.
Suddenly a violent earthquake opening prison doors Acts 16:25-27

It can be easy to confuse suddenly with immediately. Suddenly implies an
unexpected event, often without warning, while immediately signals the end of
delay, time has ended for the anticipated to happen. Two words often announced
the sudden appearance of an angel, “Fear not.” Why? Perhaps their visit was
unexpected and very often startled the recipient. Have you encountered God’s
suddenly in your life? Know that there is no need to fear but every reason to
embrace his call. God’s suddenly may be accompanied by a season of silence
while he teaches us those lessons that position us to be most effective. The
seasons naturally follow in sequence as the end of one season precedes the next.

As Jim and I close this season of ministry at IBCZ we pray you will take courage
and be encouraged to start fresh and give God’s kairos permission to interrupt
your kronos. It is with heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation that we enter
in and embrace the current season for which God is still preparing and equipping
us. Please join us Sunday, March 19th as the church celebrates our years of
service and we once again branch out in response to the call of life change and
ministry. Our friends and faces remain etched on our hearts. Our ministry
involvement, service and event memories at IBCZ include:

Jim: Deacon, Elder, Children’s ministry director/leader/teacher, Pastor search
committee, Building committee, children’s time, prayer meeting, baby
dedications, baptisms, Missions team leader, teacher training and seminar
leader, counseling, home bible study group leader, asylum ministry, singing
Christmas tree, greeter, hospitality and nursery.

Jayne began service as office manager and administrator coordinating the
weekly bulletin, online newsletter, church directory, birthday greetings,
newcomer welcome and response cards, placing church orders, etc. She served
as children’s ministry teacher (age 8-11), youth leader, ladies bible study group
leader, deacon, mission team member, prayer team, door greeter, representative
of Day Away, IBC women’s and other conferences, teacher’s training and seminar
co-leader, counselor, and a host of other activities.

Prayerfully and lovingly submitted by

Jim and Jayne Ellerbee
Former Elder and Deacon

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