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Pastor's Corner: Hope for the long haul

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to get added to our list of pastors.It’s now been almost two years since the threat of contagion and illness changed almost every aspect of our lives. It trapped us for weeks on end in our homes, eliminated the simplest gestures of love, friendship and solidarity — from smiles to handshakes and hugs to high-fives, and left many living in almost constant anxiety and fear.

As we hunkered down during the first waves of the pandemic, we hoped we would be spared… we hoped for herd immunity … we hoped for no-risk vaccines… we mostly hoped it would all just go away, like a bad dream. And after so many times when our hopes were disappointed, jobs were lost, children struggled in school (and out of it), the virus continued to mutate, precautions were extended over, and over again, we now find it hard to rejoice even when we can return to old routines at some level.

Hope for many has become hard to come by as the recurring crises have drained their emotional and spiritual resources. Unfortunately, both the early restrictions of the pandemic and later their own fears may have kept them from their best opportunities to refill their hearts and minds with real hope.

The one Hope that “does not disappoint” (Rom. 5:5) is hope in God because of His great love for us. And while each of us can seek Him individually, He calls us to gather as people of faith to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25) and to keep hope alive!

If you have lost the habit in your “new normal”, we encourage you to return to your house of worship, your prayer group, your Bible study, to those who will encourage you and remind you where true hope can be found.

As many have said, life is a marathon, and the pandemic appears to be one as well. We need hope for the long haul. A hope that does not depend on daily circumstances and cannot be destroyed by following the latest news. Scripture promises that “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

Jose and Beverly Perelló are pastors of Home Fellowship Church in Shafter.


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