by Richard Coleman, Lausanne Session Chair
“Low-grade depression.” That’s what former First Lady Michele Obama calls the emotional lows she has been facing. Truth be told, she’s not the only one who has been facing a bit of a low-grade depression. The cancelled plans due to COVID, the news of continual conflict affecting the countries in which we live, the enemy’s success at derailing those we love: there have been so many things that have taken the wind out of our sails. Christians are not immune from the blues. We all have our moments—or seasons—down in the doldrums. Perhaps that why I love the theme of the 2021 Passion Talks: Compelled by Hope. Our neighborhoods and our nations are full of bad news, the kind of news that poisons the soul like a noxious gas, slowly taking away our sense of hope. This is precisely why we need stories like the ones you will hear on August 13th and 14th. These stories are a breath of fresh air, a powerful reminder that the Kingdom of God is still advancing, even in the midst of all that appears to be hopeless.
In the session hosted by the Lausanne Movement’s Younger Leaders Generation (YLGen), we will hear from leaders across the globe who are bringing hope to people in despair. There’s Ashley Jameson, a woman from Idaho working globally to bring hope to women facing sexual addiction and betrayal. There’s Randall Flinn, a choreographer from Texas who is putting God’s creativity on display, bringing hope through the beauty of the arts. There’s Gloria Katusiime of Uganda, bringing hope to communities by providing meaningful work through the coffee industry. There’s Philip Yan from Canada, finding innovative ways to distribute resources and bring hope during the pandemic. And there’s me, Richard Coleman, bringing hope by forming strategic connections with others to address a variety of needs both in Ethiopia and beyond.
Proverbs 24:25 says, “Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land.” Are you weary? Are you tired of divisive politics, racial conflict, and news of death and destruction? You are not alone. Our prayer is that these stories from both near and distant lands will bring you encouragement and some sort of hope. May they remind you that God is indeed at work around the world…and He is at work in you.
Register to attend Passion Talks ’21, a virtual conference on August 13th – 14th.