August / September 2017 - Vol. 93

Bethany Association Update
Christiane and single for
                                          the Lord women in Bethan
Christiane Lewerentz (left center) is joined by her Bethany sisters as she celebrates
her lifelong commitment to live single for the Lord on May 27, 2017 in Belfast, N. Ireland

 A Step of Joy and Gladness in Response to God's Call

God's Generous Love and Provision for the Call and the Journey

by Christiane Lewerentz

When I think of my lifelong commitment, I'm deeply grateful and almost speechless at the love and care of those around me. The celebrations were a moving witness to me of God's generous love and provision through my brothers and sisters in Christ in the Charis community in Belfast and other communities in Europe, in my Church, the Servants of the Word, neighbors, friends & family from Germany, friends from my orchestra.

What touched me the most was how joyful the day was, how much joy I experienced. God's presence was tangible. His love abundant. Seeing over 200 people come alongside me, serving and loving me was as if God was putting on a rich display of His love and commitment to me.

I received a word earlier in the year about God putting a 'shield of people' around me. On my commitment day, I was able to see this 'live' as a reality and as a promise for the future.

I am excited when I think of the future and often terrified of the greatness of the adventure God has taken me on, and sometimes afraid of the cost. My heart's desire is that many men and women dare to love the Lord with all they are and have, and expect of Him life to the full, no less. I made this commitment because God won my heart for Himself and for His people. The Father is worth our love and our all for His own sake. Jesus is enough for this our pilgrimage on earth till we come home.

I think God has given the Bethany sisters a special place and calling in the Sword of the Spirit to be servants of His love and to witness to the joy of loving Him
whatever the service, whatever the gain, whatever the cost, as a simple response to His incomprehensible generous love for us and to be bringers of His resurrection life to the world.

I want to be one of these servants of love for God and his people, alongside the sisters who have lived this call faithfully for many years, and alongside the women who will hear this call to celibate life in years to come. And God gives all the grace needed, and promises a shield of brothers and sisters in Christ to uphold me. The commitment celebration was only the beginning - see ya on the journey from here on!

                              kneels before the alter to make her
                              lifelong commitment to live single for the
Christiane makes her promise to live single for the Lord

On Christiane's Offering of Her Life to the Lord
Tadhg Lynch

When the woman at Bethany anointed Jesus with a flask of pure nard she prepared him for his sacrificial offering on the cross. She used her act of love to show to everyone that what this man is about to do is extravagant, costly, beautiful, sacrificial and healing. The step that Christiane has taken is a reflection of the beauty, love and sacrifice that the Lord Jesus showed for his people. It is a step of joy and gladness in response to God's call for her, it is a sign and a witness to us his people, of what he has done for all of us and it is a step of hope pointing to the life that we will one day live in heaven with him.

friends witness Christiane's lifelong
                          commitment to live single for the Lordc
friends and family members gathered to celebrate Christiane's commitment

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