John & Sonia Dickson
The Lord will provide. These four words - first spoken thousands of years ago by Yahweh to Abraham - (the father of our Judeo-Christian faith - see Romans 4) at a critical and stressful moment for old Abe - underpin the lives of those who follow Jesus. And in our case, the Lord has provided! As with all biblical promises, we needed to fulfil the conditions: for about 10 years we sowed by faith into Liberty Trust, always expectant that in due season we would reap a return. Sowing and reaping, an unalterable principle since Creation. We maintained our vision despite setbacks and challenges. We made sacrifices. We rejoiced with others - gaining encouragement from the testimonies of those in the Liberty Trust family who had received their loan. Our funds helped them, and theirs now help us. We prayed, we fasted, we stumbled ahead, we dreamed... God’s way is The Way. It’s a narrow way, sometimes marked by hardship and trial. It looks foolish to many. But He provides. Praise be to God. Always. Psalm 84:3 says 'Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young - a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God.’ This verse contains a promise, which has been a light to our paths. Do you see it? Jesus said, according to Matthew 10: 31, “...do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” Can you see it now? Regardless of the housing market, your circumstances, your age, your race, your income - The Lord can and will provide for you! Be faithful, be flexible. Stay near the altar of sacrificial praise. Stay near the Cross. Another significant and too often overlooked principle, which we also built a foundation on, is expressed in Proverbs 24:27 “Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house”. Every believer has a particular field of service to sow into, and reap from. As Keith Green sung it, ‘Jesus commands us to Go!’ We give thanks for the vision, faithfulness and personal sacrifices of the Liberty Trustees, and all associated with serving in this ministry. We thank the early adopters who had the greater faith. We honour Don and Eileen Onekawa who left all in about 1971 to plant a church in Whakatane called Christian Fellowship (of which Liberty Trust is just one enduring fruit), and who ministered grace into our lives. We thank Pastor Bruce McDonald who has contributed so much into our lives and ministry. We thank our now grown up children (Israel, Micah and Eleisha) for their patience and willingness to leave their friends, go live in Mozambique back in 2000 and, for Eleisha, again in 2011. Each are of course sharers in the Liberty Trust vision in their own right. Special thanks to John Taylor who so humbly, naturally and yet powerfully prophesied in 2008 that “two dreams need to become One”. And yes John, you were right - and they did! And finally, as Marcus Arden once reminded us at an Ohope Christian Fellowship Easter Camp, ‘what is born of God overcomes the world’ - and it did!
Relationships and opportunities, that’s how God builds His Kingdom. Each flows from the other in a living cascade of challenges and exhortations, love and encouragement. Be encouraged!
John & Sonia Dickson
29 January 2017