"Be joyful that today God has become bread for the hungry and refreshment for the weary, that there may be peace on earth.... 

Be joyful that the rich lord of the universe lies in a manger as a poor person in order that he may make all needy people rich....

Be joyful that today is born one who can free us from all misery."

— 15th-century church reformer Jan Hus, 1413 Christmas sermon

Dear friend,

Whether I am visiting EMM workers in Africa or Europe or elsewhere, I often sense the joy of the Lord. During a trip to see EMM workers and partners in the Czech Republic this fall, I entered Prague’s Bethlehem Chapel. After standing inside the 600-year-old chapel, these words from its most famous preacher, Jan Hus, come alive for me.

Be joyful! Hus repeats it over and over. Truly, it sometimes takes many repetitions before we dare to accept the riches of joy found in Jesus — joy that transcends brokenness on earth.

This season, EMM staff and I invite you to take hold of the abundant joy given to you through Christ’s birth. May you find ways to share that abundance in God-breathed ways. Because of Jesus, we are a people of joy — let us move in mission together!


Nelson Okanya