A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER
In late December 2019, people in Wuhan, China began to get sick with a previously unknown pneumonia, marking the beginning of a new infectious disease, later identified as a new type of coronavirus.
The International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses selected the name severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to represent that the new virus is a sister of the original SARS virus. The disease the virus causes was named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide, nearing seven million and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems, the world of work and the impact on the Church has been heartbreaking and catastrophic. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating: tens of millions of people are at risk of falling into extreme poverty, while the number of undernourished people, currently estimated at nearly 690 million, could increase by up to 132 million by the end of the year.
Millions of enterprises face an existential threat. Nearly half of the world’s 3.3 billion global workforce are at risk of losing their livelihoods. Informal economy workers are particularly vulnerable because the majority lack social protection and access to quality health care and have lost access to productive assets.
As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I’m often asked after events like this whether God really cares. Does He care when people are sick, injured, and dying? Does He care when they grieve over death-the death of loved ones, the death of their own goals and dreams? Does God concern Himself when people, even people who didn’t have much to begin with, lose everything? Is He moved when men and women are confused and lost, picking through the rubble and devastation of their lives?
Why would God allow such suffering? Could He really be the loving heavenly Father He’s been made out to be? Doesn’t He seem more like a passive bystander to our pain sometimes? Truth be told, it can sometimes look-within human reasoning anyway-as though God doesn’t really care all that much that people are suffering.
The objective of the 2023 Issachar conference is to demonstrate through lectures, workshops, and interviews that God is not only aware when we’re caught up in the difficulties of life, but that He also has a plan through His Church to meet us and speak to us in those times of trial, strengthening us and teaching us all along the way. But we also want to emphasize that although He cares, God doesn’t always resolve our challenges in the way we expect Him to.
He will answer the heart-cries of His loved ones. But He will do it in His own time and His own way for His own good purposes (John 11:4).
John 11 tells the story of Jesus raising His friend Lazarus from the dead, as well as the events leading up to and following that event.
We will walk through this amazing story several times-rewinding the tape here and there to focus on some fascinating aspects you might not have considered before. So, be encouraged and you will find your answer to the question, God, do you really care?
A MESSAGE ABOUT THE THEME
Today, there is a critical need for Christians to understand the times—the times of the greatest pandemic in history—the times of churches with dwindling memberships—the times of increased racial unrest—the times of corrupt government—the times of a breakdown in families—and the times of acceptance of a distorted view of love and marriage.
We must seek ways to understand and address these critical issues the way the Word of God teaches us to utilizing strategies that are outside the box, timely and effective. This conference will utilize people who are well-versed in a number of areas—who know what to do and who are eager to share their expertise.
Stonecrest Issachar Conference, a virtual event, will address issues in both the church and the family. It promises to be transformational!