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  • Writer's pictureMarsden and Mandy Giesbrecht

Grace in grief

Nipawin, SK – Earlier in May, I went with a friend to the community of Red Earth, which is about an hour drive from Nipawin.

A young boy went missing from his home. Search and rescue teams and local volunteers have been scouring the entire area and thus far, have found no trace. I joined the local volunteers and searched a portion of the Carrot River that flows past the family’s home. The river is currently in flood stage and there seemed little hope of finding any clues within murky waters.

Pray for the family and community as they process this loss and are seeking closure. Pray for comfort from our God who is described in portions of His Word as the God of all comfort.

As I continue to consider the effects of grief and loss in so many communities, I am constantly amazed at the grace that Jesus extends to each of us. Psalms 34:18 states “The Lord is near the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

At some point in our lives, we will all be the broken hearted. In fact, without Christ there is only brokenness to look forward to. Yet God heals the broken in spirit and extends grace to undeserving people like us.

What does this mean for our family as we continue to serve the Lord? His grace gives us the security to trust in uncertain times. It means that we have the freedom to serve as children of God, accepted, approved, and perfectly loved. This fact gives tremendous freedom.

Over the past few weeks, we have had plans to host a Bible study series focused on the topic of grief and loss. Mandy’s mom, Debbie Matthews recently wrote a booklet on this topic that looks to God as the God of all comfort. As we were planning to begin the study using this book, Debbie caught a very bad cold that does not seem to want to let go. We are praying that she will recover soon. Until then, the grief Bible study is on hold.

In our Sunday morning services, we have been studying the book of Romans together. We are praying that the simple gospel of grace will break through and Jesus will be glorified as the sole provider of our salvation.

Mandy continues to lead a weekly group for teen girls. Since the COVID restrictions have lessened, the group has grown in size and continues to challenge these young girls to walk with Jesus through all of the struggles that our society is currently throwing at them. Pray for all of these girls!

We as a family continue to work through the ebb and flow of all the relational ministries God has led us into, and to depend on His strength to follow day by day in obedience through each scenario. No relationship is easy, and just like the springtime plants and soil need the rain, we need the steady working of the Holy Spirit to empower us all toward continual growth.

Thank you for praying us through the chaotic and calm moments of ministry life! May God empower you also toward hope as you face each new day.

Home church: Sutherland Evangelical Church, SK


This article was originally published in The EMMC Recorder Vol 59, No. 4


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