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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

New Beginnings

Each New Year, I think of Isaiah’s words: 

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19). 

We begin a New Year filled with tension, strife, wars, and various hardships. We, too, can fail to perceive the “new thing” God wants to accomplish—amid difficult times.

Isaiah’s encouragement to his people to “…remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old” is not a suggestion to erase our memory. It’s to encourage us not to live in the past. 

The Israelites were threatened by the military might of Assyria. Isaiah’s words show his confidence God will protect His people and keep Jerusalem safe. He does not want Israel to forget how God miraculously delivered them from Egypt so many years prior. 

We struggle with the same thing the Israelites did: when adversity comes, it can create amnesia. Challenging times often cause us to forget God’s faithfulness in the past. 

At the start of this New Year, I want to take a moment to recall the past year and remember where we saw God’s intervention. Our ministry saw God’s faithfulness in:

  • Relieving a government-imposed tax burden on churches in Uzbekistan

  • Allowing us to provide wells and water filter systems in Karakalpakstan

  • Assisting refugees with food and clothing in Armenia

  • Seeing the completion of the Lagadochi church renovation project (located 2 kilometers from the borders of Russia and Azerbaijan) 

  • God’s provision to allow us to minister, equip, encourage, and train pastors and leaders in Armenia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, and Belarus

  • And much more…

I want to say that the start of this year is less problematic for our pastors, leaders, and fellow Christians in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. But it’s not. Times are difficult. The struggles are intense. But for these dear people—and us—Isaiah’s words are full of HOPE. 

“Behold, I am doing a new thing…” God still leads us through the wilderness and provides water in the desert! Thank you for your prayers and support as we share this life-giving water with people across the world. 

I invite you to learn more about how you can make a lasting impact in the lives of pastors, leaders, and learners through our ministry by going to

God bless you this New Year, 

Richard Parrish


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