Juarez-Olthoff to Serve as Spokesperson, Advocate for Hispanic Evangelical Women’s Network for National Hispanic Christian Leadership ConferenceSACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) are pleased to announce Bianca Juarez-Olthoff as the newest member of its executive leadership team. Based in Orange County, California, Juarez-Olthoff will serve as spokesperson for the NHCLC, as well as spearhead the development of a Hispanic evangelical women’s network.“We are tremendously excited by all that Bianca brings to the table on behalf of the NHCLC,” says Rev. Rodriguez. “She possesses a wealth of experience in the areas of church and community building, mentorship, Bible teaching, and beyond that, her faith and positivity are contagious. We are honored to have her speak on behalf of the NHCLC and to follow her passion and gifting to build what we truly believe will become, one of the most robust and vibrant women’s networks in the world.”
Bianca Juarez-Olthoff is also the founder of In The Name of Love, a non-profit organization “dedicated to the transformation of lives through the saving power of Jesus Christ” by providing biblically-based resources; mentoring; social justice initiatives that empower people to care for and provide for others; and by creating meaningful and spiritual experiences by organizing events to serve the community.“As a first generation Latina American, it is my privilege and honor to partner with the NHCLC and the next generation of Hispanic leaders,” says Juarez-Olthoff. “There are few organizations that have a pulse on culture, justice, and race-relations, so being a part of this team is a dream come true. My hope is to awaken a generation to the cause of Jesus Christ, to carry the heart of the Father, and live a Spirit-filled life as we fight for justice.”MEDIA: To download a headshot of Bianca Juarez-Olthoff, click here.###Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.Bianca Juarez Olthoff is a bible-teaching, word-slanging MexiRican who is passionate about raising up a generation of people passionate about Jesus Christ. As an author and speaker, she knows the power of words and wields them wisely. As a church planter and leader, she is committed to proclaiming the gospel domestically and internationally. For more information, follow her on Twitter.The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News, CNN, and a number of additional media outlets, publications, and periodicals as America’s largest and most influential Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with 40,118 certified member churches in the United States and chapters in Latin America.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and the NHCLC Names Bianca Juarez-Olthoff as Newest Member of Executive Leadership Team
“Here we are again broken-hearted by evil and – this time – in a sanctuary for the Prince of Peace. We pray, we cry and we plead with God for mercy on our land. We thank Him for the first responders and we trust Him to comfort those whose pain is unbearable. May our nation pray.” -Reverend Samuel Rodriguez #PrayforSutherlandSprings
Washington – The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference got a sneak peak of the Museum of the Bible during their trip to the nation’s capital this week.
“We are celebrating the Bible coming to life,” said Tony Suarez, NHCLC Executive Vice President. “We’ve preached about it and we’ve talked about.”
The new Museum of the Bible is a 430,000 square foot facility just three blocks from Capitol Hill. It’s on track to open mid-November. Christians leaders from across the country walked the halls of biblical history to meet, pray and strengthen their faith.
“I hope this stirs up a passion for the word of God where we get back into the book, back to studying the book and having a love for the Bible and having a love for the word of God,” said Suarez.
“This is going to be a base for faith in the Bible,” said Luis Avila, Pentecostal Holiness Church in Oklahoma City.
CBN’s Ben Kennedy asked Avila if prayer is needed now more than ever.
“Absolutely, I believe so,” said Avila.
The NHCLC plans to visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday to meet with lawmakers about Israel, Puerto Rico and Dreamers — young people whose parents brought them here illegally.
“Asking them again to pass some sort of permanent legislation to help Dreamers and they do it before Christmas,” said Suarez. “That would be the best Christmas gift.”
via CBN News
Our president recently tweeted that the federal forces helping Puerto Rico “can’t stay forever.” Given how early we are in this tragedy, the scale of the devastation, and the continued suffering of our fellow Americans, this is no time for equivocation.
We at the College Board have been operating in Puerto Rico for more than 50 years, and today we take a simple pledge: We Are Not Leaving: #NoNosVamos.
As a nonprofit that has 76 employees in Puerto Rico, we declare today that the College Board will stand with our Puerto Rican colleagues and member colleges and schools throughout the rebuilding process and into the future. We will invest more, not less, in Puerto Rico in the years to come to support students and ensure a hurricane cannot block their future, for which they have worked so hard. The College Board has played a central role in Puerto Rico and Latin America’s educational life for more than 50 years, and those deep roots remain unshaken and unshakeable. We are here for the long haul.
And we must all speak out against false statements that the Puerto Ricans are not working hard enough to help themselves. Not so. Days after the storm, our colleagues in Puerto Rico assembled themselves to rebuild our offices. They neglected their homes to make a space to work. Our colleagues in Puerto Rico were driven to make sure they didn’t leave students throughout Latin America in the lurch. We made sure everyone knew they would have paid leave to take care of themselves and their families, and our colleagues chose to work.
The leader of our Puerto Rico office, José “Pepe” Carreras, named the force driving his colleagues to action: “They realize that education post-Hurricane Maria will be one of the building blocks we will need to focus on right away to give students purpose and begin building for the future.”
All of us at the College Board stand in awe and witness to the courage and resourcefulness of our team in Puerto Rico. Moved by the force of their spirit, we call on other nonprofits and businesses to share our pledge to stand by Puerto Rico throughout the rebuilding process. For those of you with staff in Puerto Rico, please share your stories of colleagues working hard to reclaim their future.
Please join us in our pledge: We Are Not Leaving: #NoNosVamos.
Carta Abierta a las Organizaciones con Presencia en Puerto Rico: #NoNosVamos
Hace poco, nuestro presidente tuiteó un mensaje indicando que las fuerzas federales que se encuentran ayudando a Puerto Rico “no podrán quedarse para siempre”. Teniendo en cuenta el poco tiempo que ha pasado desde que tuvo lugar esta tragedia, la magnitud de la devastación y el sufrimiento incesante de nuestros compatriotas, este no es el momento para equivocaciones.
Nosotros, en el College Board, hemos estado operando en Puerto Rico por más de 50 años y hoy asumimos este simple compromiso: #NoNosVamos.
Como una organización sin fines de lucro con 76 miembros de su personal en Puerto Rico, declaramos hoy que el College Board se mantendrá firme junto a nuestros colegas al igual que los colegios y universidades miembros de Puerto Rico a lo largo del periodo de reconstrucción y en el futuro. Invertiremos más, no menos, en Puerto Rico los próximos años para apoyar a los estudiantes y asegurarnos de que un huracán no pueda bloquear el futuro por el cual han trabajado tan duro para conseguir. Por más de 50 años, el College Board ha desempeñado una función fundamental en la vida educativa de Puerto Rico y América Latina y esas raíces profundas permanecen intactas e inquebrantables. Estamos comprometidos a esta labor a largo plazo.
Y debemos denunciar las declaraciones falsas de que los puertorriqueños no están trabajando lo suficiente para ayudarse a sí mismos. Sabemos que este no es el caso. Días después de la tormenta, nuestros colegas en Puerto Rico se juntaron para reconstruir nuestras oficinas. Pusieron los deberes de sus hogares hacia al lado para facilitar un espacio de trabajo. Nuestros colegas en Puerto Rico actuaron de su propia voluntad para asegurarse de que ningún estudiante en toda América Latina se quede plantado. Estuvimos seguros de que todos nuestros colegas supieran que tendrían tiempo libre pagado disponible para ocuparse de sí mismos y de sus familias, aun así decidieron volver a trabajar.
El líder de nuestra oficina en Puerto Rico, José “Pepe” Carreras, describió la fuerza que impulso a sus colegas a actuar de esta manera: “Ellos comprenden que el sistema de educación posterior al huracán María será una pieza fundamental que requerirá atención inmediata para poder darle a nuestros estudiantes un sentido de propósito y comenzar a construir un mejor futuro”.
Todos nosotros en el College Board estamos maravillados y somos testigos de la valentía y asombrosa recursividad de nuestro equipo en Puerto Rico. Conmovidos por la fuerza de su espíritu, hacemos un llamado a otras organizaciones sin fines de lucro y empresariales a que compartan nuestro compromiso por Puerto Rico durante a lo largo del periodo de reconstrucción. Para aquellos que tienen personal en Puerto Rico, les pido que compartan las historias de sus colegas que están trabajando intensamente para levantar su isla.
Les invito a que se unan a nuestro compromiso: #NoNosVamos
A group of prominent evangelical Christians is calling on President Donald Trump to take further steps to condemn white supremacists — specifically those in the alt-right — following the August white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one woman dead.
I love the diverse people, food and languages across the Lone Star State, especially our “south of the border” sounds and flavors. Latino culture is part of my heritage, and I am proud to serve the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference as Executive Director of the Faith & Education Coalition. I love working with parents, pastors and leaders across the nation who care deeply about students and high-quality education.
In many Hispanic communities across Texas, pastors and church members provide vital education connections for families. From immigrants and Spanish-speaking parents to first-generation college students, these “learning heroes” help local families bridge the language and cultural divides related to education. They invest in students because they believe every child is created in God’s image and deserves the chance to meet his or her potential.
One way these church leaders help families chart a course for school success is by encouraging them to build a strong parent-teacher partnership. This can be intimidating for adults who never completed their own education, those who were educated in other countries, or those who are not fluent in English. But we can encourage all parents to make the most of this “back to school” season with a few simple tips.
Parents can be “learning heroes” for their children by starting the school year with these five tips:
1. Start strong.
Find out how prepared your child is for his or her new grade. Be sure to review the annual state test results from last year. Consider using the TAG approach (Teacher feedback + Assessments + Grades) to determine how your student is progressing and what areas may need additional support. If you haven’t received your child’s STAAR test results yet, visit www.TexasAssessment.com to view your child’s assessment results from last school year – as well as many other parent resources. Much of this information is also available in Spanish.
2. Partner up.
At your first teacher meeting, bring your child’s state test results and ask what they mean for this year. Find out what’s expected of your child and what you can do at home to help. You can prepare for the first teacher meeting with tips at BeALearningHero.org
3. Make it fun!
You are the expert on your child and can help make learning cool! Read together on topics that interest your child. Find math in everyday life – turn it into a game. Small learning moments add up!
4. Celebrate hard work.
Focus on the effort and what your child is learning. Celebrating hard work and progress, rather than perfection, will help your child feel less nervous about new tasks or subjects.
5. Encourage life skills along the way.
Strengths such as being able to communicate, problem-solve and demonstrate patience will help your child in school and life. Talk openly with your child about how he or she is feeling and reacting to situations at school, on the playground and at home.
Parents and teachers and church leaders can partner to help students reach high standards, expecting and bringing out the best in each child. Good tests help us gauge if students are on track for the next grade level and, eventually, for the rigor of college or career. And accessing test results and other progress data, in both English and Spanish, empowers parents to become full partners in their child’s education. We can honor our cultural diversity as we unite parents behind a common goal – excellent education opportunities for all our Texas students.
via Baptist Standard
When Tony Suarez lost his wife to cancer last year, the Passover song he learned at his first Seder meal only months before became his anthem.
Just as the Jewish people sing dayenu—“it would have been enough”—about God saving them from the plagues and leading them out of Israel, the Virginia pastor proclaimed that God’s faithfulness was enough, even without the miracle he had prayed for.
“That song meant everything,” said Suarez, vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). “And we wouldn’t have known it if we hadn’t been in a synagogue.”
Suarez is helping to lead a movement among Latino evangelicals that aspires to change the face of Christian Zionism in America.
For the past few years, the NHCLC’s Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC) has brought Latino churches—some with blue-and-white Israeli flags in their sanctuaries and Hebrew songs in their worship sets—together with pro-Israel and Jewish groups.
The coalition has organized seminars, trips to the Holy Land, and sit-downs with Israeli politicians in order to make Hispanics “the most pro-Israel, pro-Jewish demographic.” With arms extended and flags waving, its members pray with their congregations for the peace of Jerusalem and the well-being of Israel.
In addition to events in places like New York, Florida, and Washington, DC, HILC leaders have also advocated across Latin America against anti-Semitism and for the Jewish state. For example, Orlando pastor Carlos Ortiz has joined advocates for Israel in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua. Nicaragua reestablished a diplomatic relationship with the Jewish state earlier this year after a seven-year break.
But the HILC still has work to do. In a recent LifeWay Research study sponsored by the NHCLC and the Philos Project, 45 percent of Hispanic American Christians said they view Israel positively while 26 percent view it negatively and 28 percent are not sure how they feel.
“It was not surprising that the [plurality] had a positive perception of Israel. But we weren’t aware how much they didn’t know,” said Jesse Rojo, Hispanic affairs director for Philos, a nonprofit that encourages Christian engagement in the Middle East.
In the survey, about a third of Hispanic Americans responded that they were unsure about their own positions on the state of Israel, its theological significance, and levels of US aid to the country. This ambivalence and uncertainty proved to organizers the need for further education and engagement among Latinos.
“We realized we’re at a pivotal point,” said Rojo, who has enlisted pastors, Latino singers, and Spanish-speaking theologians to partner on the issue.
While Hispanic Christians are more likely than the average American to support the state of Israel, their views don’t typically shape their politics. More than half told LifeWay that a politician’s stance on Israel doesn’t impact their vote.
HILC leaders have focused on changing that perspective, reminding Latino evangelicals—who may come from countries where they had to keep faith and politics separate—that they have a political voice here in the United States, said Suarez, who serves on President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board along with NHCLC president (and CT board member) Sam Rodriguez.
Hispanic evangelicals are more comfortable with policy activism than the rest of the Hispanic population, including Catholics and mainline Protestants. In a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, 61 percent said they believe churches should express their views on political issues.
“We don’t detach history from Scripture and the greater story of God’s redemption,” Rojo said. “We don’t see what happens at the policy level as completely separate from what happens in Scripture.”
For decades, Hispanic immigrants and converts have been a boon to the US evangelical church. And as the largest ethnic minority within evangelicalism, their increasingly vocal stance on Israel is starting to have an impact.
“American Zionists have tended to be white because evangelicalism here has been dominated by whites,” said Gerald McDermott, editor of The New Christian Zionism. “But now as American evangelicals are changing colors, so is Zionism.”
McDermott, a Beeson Divinity School professor, points out that global Zionism has always contained racial diversity, from Ethiopian Jews to the Nigerian Christians who number among Israel’s tourists each year.
“The Jewish story of liberation from slavery in Egypt has always resonated with the black church,” he said. “It is no surprise that blacks are often numerous in messianic Jewish congregations.”
Conservative black churches have been among those resisting the Black Lives Matter movement’s pro-Palestinian position. “This has been a polarizing moment not only for black churches but also for predominantly white and multiracial religious institutions,” said Roger Baumann, a sociologist at Yale University.
While white evangelicals have historically been the most pro-Israel Christian group in America, black Protestants have been the least. Baumann’s research, published last year in the journal Sociology of Religion, found that black pastors who promote Israel rely on prosperity gospel themes and promises of blessing (such as the “I will bless those who bless you” of Gen. 12:3) rather than the liberationist narratives often affiliated with their tradition.
“African American Christian Zionists tend to come from more theologically and politically conservative black churches, where there is a theological narrative about the State of Israel that overlaps with the kind of Christian Zionism prominent among white evangelicals,” Baumann said. “That is, in order to secure God’s blessing, one has to first be a blessing to Israel, which means supporting Israel as a Jewish state today.”
Among Asian Americans, a strain of Korean evangelicals is also committed to championing Israel and repenting for anti-Semitism among Christians. An organization called Korean Christians for Shalom Jerusalem held its annual cultural festival in Israel in May, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem after the Six-Day War.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), said he sees support for Christian Zionism surging along with the growth of Pentecostal traditions around the globe. In recent years, his organization has launched affiliates in South Korea and Brazil.
As the Hispanic community in America has become “more evangelical Protestant and less Catholic, the possibilities of a Christian Zionist approach became much more real,” Eckstein said. “But nobody has yet been able to really harness or channel that innate support for Israel. They’re just not organized well enough to do so.”
But the potential is there, according to Rojo. “When you give them the right information and invest in them, they will give of their best efforts to become advocates,” he said. “Seeing the way they respond gives me a lot of hope.”
This post originally appeared
Los cristianos hispanos lanzarán una campaña nacional de 60 días en apoyo a los SUEÑOS, pondrán “Presión Incesante” en los miembros del Congreso hasta que “cada Soñador pueda Soñar de Nuevo”
“No tenemos la intención de dejar que un solo miembro del Congreso tenga una buena noche de descanso hasta que garantice que nuestros jóvenes puedan descansar tranquilos”. Rev. Samuel Rodríguez
SACRAMENTO, California – Hoy, a la luz de la decisión de la Casa Blanca sobre el DACA, la Conferencia Nacional Hispana de Liderazgo Cristiano y sus iglesias y organizaciones afiliadas, anuncia una campaña nacional con la intención de poner “presión constante” en “cada” permanente, la solución legislativa se proporciona para “DREAMers”.
“Cientos de miles de jóvenes hispanos serán superados con miedo y dolor hoy. Simultáneamente, una coalición multiétnica de decenas de millones de ciudadanos respetuosos de la ley, los ciudadanos estadounidenses comenzarán a ejercer una presión incesante sobre los miembros del Congreso para que proporcionen una solución permanente a los DREAMers, cuyo destino no es su culpa ” Rev. Samuel Rodríguez, Presidente de la Conferencia Nacional Hispana de Liderazgo Cristiano. “Durante mucho tiempo en este país, los jóvenes hispanos han sido las fichas políticas de nuestros poderosos políticos. Esto es una afrenta a la santidad de la vida, es inhumana, y la comunidad hispana ya no lo soportará. Nuestros miembros electos del Congreso tienen una y otra vez, profesan preocupación por la comunidad hispana y, sin embargo, han optado por no hacer nada. No distinguiremos entre republicanos y demócratas, sino entre los que defienden la justicia y la justicia y los que no lo hacen “.
Entre otras acciones, la Conferencia Nacional Hispana de Liderazgo Cristiano estará temporalmente trasladando personal adicional a Washington, D.C., lanzando una campaña nacional de medios de comunicación, reuniendo a decenas de miles de líderes espirituales de la nación, coordinando reuniones semanales en Capitol Hill y Capitolios Estatales. Además, el NHCLC organizará un “fly-in” de cientos de prominentes líderes hispanos de toda América del Norte para una reunión de oración en la noche del 30 de octubre, seguida de una serie de visitas al Congreso el 31 de octubre.
De la decisión del Presidente Donald J. Trump de eliminar el DACA, el Rev. Samuel Rodríguez dice lo siguiente:
“Estoy decepcionado de que estas protecciones estén terminando y he expresado esa decepción a la Casa Blanca directamente. También entiendo por qué eligieron este curso de acción. Si el destino de DAPA es una indicación, entonces era sólo cuestión de tiempo antes de que DACA se enfrentara a un destino similar en los tribunales y, de hecho, todo el programa podría ser cesado inmediatamente por una orden judicial en lugar de ser eliminado. Afortunadamente, es el trabajo del Congreso de hacer leyes, y ahora el Presidente ha proporcionado al Congreso una ventana de seis meses para legislar una solución más permanente y legalmente defendible para DREAMers. Seis meses es demasiado largo, vamos a exigir la acción del Congreso dentro de 60 días. No tenemos la intención de dejar que un solo miembro del Congreso tenga una buena noche de descanso hasta que garantice que nuestros jóvenes puedan estar tranquilos. No estaremos en silencio hasta que todos los Sueños puedan soñar de nuevo. “
La Conferencia Nacional Hispana de Liderazgo Cristiano es una organización no partidista que durante mucho tiempo ha sido contada entre los principales defensores de la reforma migratoria integral de la nación. Es la posición oficial de la organización que es primordialmente la responsabilidad del Congreso de abordar los viejos desafíos de la nación con la política de inmigración. En esa capacidad, el Rev. Samuel Rodríguez ha trabajado con las mayorías demócratas y republicanas en el Congreso, así como con los presidentes George W. Bush, Barack Obama y Donald J. Trump en la promoción de la reforma migratoria integral.
El Rev. Samuel Rodríguez es presidente de la Conferencia Nacional Hispana de Liderazgo Cristiano. Ha sido nombrado por CNN y Fox News como “el líder del movimiento hispano-evangélico” y TIME Magazine lo nombró entre los 100 líderes más influyentes en América.
La Conferencia Nacional Hispana de Liderazgo Cristiano (NHCLC) es la organización reconocida e identificada por Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News y CNN. medios de comunicación, publicaciones y publicaciones periódicas como la organización cristiana hispana / latina más grande de América con 40.118 iglesias certificadas en los Estados Unidos y en relación de pacto con ministerios e iglesias en América Latina y alrededor del mundo.
Sitio web | www.nhclc.org Twitter | @ nhclc
Samuel Rodriguez slams critics of Trump’s evangelical advisers
by Jardine Malado September 1, 2017
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez has denounced critics who are calling on him and other Christian leaders to resign from President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board.
Following the Aug. 12 protest in Charlottesville, critics have called on members of the evangelical advisory board to abandon the president because of his response to the violent incident that occurred during the rally.
Critics were particularly angered over Trump’s failure to quickly denounce white supremacists as well as his remarks claiming there were “very fine people” on both sides, and that both sides were to blame for the violence.
Rodriguez, who was one of six Christian leaders who spoke at Trump’s inauguration, acknowledged that the president was wrong not to immediately call out the white supremacists, but he maintained that his involvement on the advisory board was his “God-given assignment.”
The Hispanic evangelical leader argued that those calling for his resignation from the board are largely inconsistent.
“Where was that argument ‘why don’t you abandon,’ why don’t evangelical advisors abandon Obama when he affirmed and celebrated and advanced the cause of same-sex marriage? Where was the uproar when Obama expanded/funded Planned Parenthood, funded international abortions?” he said.
Rodriguez, who serves as the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, had also served as an advisor in various capacities to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
He contended that the board gives “very straight talk” to the president and that it is “committed to the centrality of Jesus and biblical truth.”
Compared to the advisory board during the previous administrations, the current board is informal with no recognized leader or structure. The boards from the past two administrations had more formal structures which included leaders from a variety of faiths, whereas the current board is thoroughly evangelical and largely conservative, according to CBN News.
Rodriguez raised the question whether critics have thought of the consequences if members of the evangelical advisory board were to abandon Trump.
“What if President Trump would not have a faith advisory board and no one speaking truth and love and mercy and grace and reconciliation to him?” he asked. “My point is, people should be thanking God every single day for the faith advisory board,” he added.
Despite being a member of the advisory board, Rodriguez has not been afraid of speaking out against the Trump administration’s actions when it comes to deporting and detaining immigrants.
Last month, Rodriguez condemned the arrest of a Guatemalan-born Assemblies of God pastor in California and criticized the administration’s decision to rescind a policy protecting undocumented parents of natural-born American citizens or legal permanent residents from deportation.
This post originally appeared here: http://www.christiantimes.com/article/samuel-rodriguez-slams-critics-of-trumps-evangelical-advisers/72772.htm
Preparing for the Storms of Life
by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
Hurricane season arrives every year along the Gulf Coast, overlapping with the beginning of a new school year. This year initially seemed to be no different – school supplies and backpacks were readied for a first day of Kindergarten or middle school or college. Families in Texas weren’t expecting a tropical storm to reach hurricane levels and deliver record-setting rainfall before school buses took to the streets. The storms of life rarely give advance notice.
Storms can be devastating, especially when they take us by surprise. But it is precisely at these times that we are comforted by knowing we are not alone. Our loving God is not only with us during life’s storms, but He goes before us to prepare a way.
Deuteronomy 31:8 tells us, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
God goes before us. He prepares the way.
Thousands of Texans found their homes flooded and escape routes closed as Hurricane Harvey delivered more than fifty inches of rain. Houstonians could not prevent the flooding, but preparation has paid off. First responders were prepared to treat injuries. Helicopter pilots had been trained to conduct rescues in challenging weather. Pastors and chaplains were ready to offer comfort to those who mourned the loss of possessions and property and those they loved. God prepared the hearts and hands of medics and pilots and pastors through years of training and practice — for such a time as this.
God goes before us. He prepares a way through the storm.
We cannot predict every storm, but we can prepare. We can develop our skills, refine our talents, keep our hearts sensitive to God’s call and ready to respond, “Yes, Lord. Send me.”
Those still reeling from the storm in Texas will be in our prayers as thousands of churches prepare to celebrate Education Sunday this weekend. Those local heroes – first responders and tireless volunteers, those opening their homes and businesses to those in need – were once the children headed back to school. They were students studying for exams, developing their unique talents. Now their preparation, of hand and heart, becomes God’s blessing to their community, their world.
As America’s children return to school – or hope to return as flood waters recede – let us recommit to preparing students for life’s storms. Every child’s gifts are needed for the flourishing of our nation and our world. We can teach them to love the Lord with ‘all their hearts, all their souls, all their strength and all their minds’ by embracing high standards inside the classroom and out. We can set standards high. We can ensure that neither zip code, nor race, nor poverty deprive a child of the high-quality education needed to fulfill their divine purpose.
God goes before the children. He prepares their way. May we do the same.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC/CONEL). He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.
This Post Originally Appeared here: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/august/rev-samuel-rodriguez-preparing-for-the-storms-of-life