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Everywhere the River Flows

Everywhere the River Flows

by Tom Deviney on September 21, 2022

This summer, JD Walt spent some time with Ezekiel 47 and the vision of the River of Life. Considering the time and place when God shared this vision, this was a vision of powerful hope and promise. The little response he asked his readers to join in was, “Everywhere the river flows, everything will live.” That vision of a River of Life that increases as it flows from the Temple into the world has captured my imagination and my heart.

The far away reaches of the river are obvious: 65,000 people in Matete who have fresh water, schools, medical care, and new businesses. Bethany’s name is on some of those projects as God invited us to be a part of His mission there; the clinic in El Salvador that serves a region of 240,000 people; the second church to be built in Cuba; the shrimp boat in Palacios named “Bethany” because some Bethany middle-school students painted the captain’s mother’s home; the homes in East Austin which have been repaired; the food distributed to thousands of Austin families through Hill Country Community Ministries and others; job training through the Christian Resource Center; medical help through Samaritan Health Ministries; and the list goes on. “Everywhere the river flows, everything will live.”

But it is more than just assistance. Fresh Food for All has provided fresh produce to thousands in our area. And those families have received cards with prayers of blessing from a Bethany Sunday School class. Some 800 people came to and participated in our Trunk or Treat last year. And prayers were offered for any of them who were interested by our prayer ministry team. Some 160 people have received financial assistance through our Bethany benevolence ministry, so far this year. And each of them has been met with love and compassion and prayer. As you read this, Pastor Stella has given you a chance to write a prayer of blessing and encouragement for each of them. Because it isn’t just about the project or the assistance. It is about inviting people into the river of life. “Everywhere the river flows, everything will live.”

When I came to Bethany, many years ago, I remember the joy of discovering the myriad ways the Bethany family was sharing Christ. At one Austin District meeting, I realized that Bethany was doing and contributing as much as the rest of the District combined. Wow. On our conference room wall, we have Acts 1:8 painted. But the part that brings me the most joy is seeing that it is not only about providing a service or completing a project. We share the love of Christ in giving our time, our person, our prayers, our love. And as God’s love and compassion continue to flow out into the world from Bethany, I keep chanting, “Everywhere the river flows, everything will live.”

Be Blessed,
Tom Deviney

Tags: river of life, ezekiel 47

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