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About Estera Pirosca Escobar

Estera is a Romanian with a heart for the world. After coming to the US as a college student, she experienced what it means to be lonely and homesick, but she also experienced the Christian community’s love for internationals. She saw many international students become followers of Jesus as a result of the hospitality and love they received. In her role as National Field Director for International Friendships, Inc. (IFI), Estera helps IFI ministry leaders around the US strengthen and grow their local ministry. Estera and her Chilean husband, Francisco, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Valiant Actions

By |2020-11-19T08:06:03-05:00November 19th, 2020|

John Harper had no idea what was about to unfold as he and his six-year-old daughter embarked on the Titanic. But one thing he knew: he loved Jesus and he was passionate that others know Him too. As soon as the ship hit an iceberg and water started pouring in, Harper, a widower, put his little girl on a lifeboat and headed into the chaos to save as many people as possible. As he distributed life jackets he reportedly shouted, “Let the women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats.” Until his last breath, Harper shared about Jesus with anyone who was around him. John willingly gave his life away so others could live.

There was One who laid down His life freely two thousand years ago so you and I can live not only in this life but for all eternity. Jesus didn’t just wake up one day and decide He would pay the penalty of death for humanity’s sin. This was His life mission. At one point when He was talking with the Jewish religious leaders He repeatedly acknowledged “I lay down my life” (John 10:11, 15, 17, 18). He didn’t just say these words but lived them by actually dying a horrific death on the cross. He came so that the Pharisees, John Harper, and we “may have life, and have it to the full” (v. 10).

Day of Encouragement

By |2020-09-12T09:05:03-04:00September 12th, 2020|

First responders show dedication and courage daily by being on the front lines when disasters occur. In the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City in 2001 when thousands of people were killed or injured, more than 400 emergency workers also lost their lives. In honor of first responders, the US Senate designated September 12 as the National Day of Encouragement.

While it may seem unique that a government would declare a national day of encouragement, the apostle Paul certainly thought this was needed for the growth of a church. He commended the young church in Thessalonica, a city in Macedonia, to “encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Although they were going through persecution, Paul encouraged the believers to “always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else” (v. 15). He knew that as humans, they would be prone to despair, selfishness, and conflict. But he also knew that they would not be able to encourage one another without God’s help and strength.

Things are no different today. We all need to be uplifted and we need to do the same for those around us. Yet we cannot do it in our own strength. That’s why Paul’s encouragement that “the one who calls you [Jesus] is faithful, and he will do it” is so reassuring (v. 24). With His help, we can encourage one another every day.   

Eternal Eyes

By |2020-06-19T09:21:45-04:00June 22nd, 2020|

Eternal eyes, that’s what my friend Madeline prays her children and grandchildren would have. Her family has gone through a tumultuous season that ended with the death of her daughter. As the family grieves from this horrific loss, Madeline longs for them to be less and less nearsighted—consumed by the pain of this world. And to be more and more farsighted—filled with hope in our loving God...

The Gift of Peace

By |2020-05-12T12:06:47-04:00May 18th, 2020|

“I believe in Jesus and He is my Savior, and I have no fear of death,” said Barbara Bush, the wife of former US President George H. W. Bush, to her son before she died. This incredible and confident statement suggests a strong and deep-rooted faith. She experienced God’s gift of peace that comes from knowing Jesus, even when faced with death...

Our Father Sings

By |2020-04-20T16:29:52-04:00April 26th, 2020|

Dandy loves encouraging people by singing to them. One day we were having lunch at his favorite restaurant, and he noticed the waitress was having a hard day. He asked her a few questions and then started quietly singing a catchy, upbeat song to cheer her up. “Well, kind sir, you just made my day. Thank you so much,” she said with a big smile, as she wrote down our food order...

Instead of Revenge

By |2020-01-15T12:16:00-05:00January 18th, 2020|

After Jim Elliot and four other missionaries were killed by Huaorani tribesmen in 1956, no one expected what happened next. Jim’s wife, Elisabeth, their young daughter, and another missionary’s sister willingly chose to make their home among the very people who killed their loved ones. They spent several years living in the Huaorani community, learning their language, and translating the Bible for them...

Is There Hope?

By |2019-11-28T16:19:32-05:00December 1st, 2019|

Edward Payson (1783–1827) led an extremely difficult life. The death of his younger brother shook him to the core. He struggled with bipolar disorder, and he was affected by extreme migraine headaches for days. If this wasn’t enough, a fall from a horse led to paralysis of his arm, and he almost died from tuberculosis! Surprisingly, his response wasn’t one of despair and hopelessness...

The Door of Reconciliation

By |2019-10-29T12:20:17-04:00November 1st, 2019|

Inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, there’s a door that tells a five-century-old tale. In 1492 two families, the Butlers and the FitzGeralds, began fighting over a high-level position in the region. The fight escalated, and the Butlers took refuge in the cathedral. When the FitzGeralds came to ask for a truce, the Butlers were afraid to open the door...

He Calms the Storms

By |2019-09-24T07:47:41-04:00October 4th, 2019|

Jim was frantically sharing about problems he was encountering with his work team: division, judgmental attitudes, and misunderstandings. After an hour of patiently listening to his concerns, I suggested, “Let’s ask Jesus what He would have us do in this situation.” We sat quietly for five minutes. Then something amazing happened. We both felt God’s peace cover us like a blanket...

Unity

By |2019-09-11T14:12:54-04:00September 15th, 2019|

In 1722 a small group of Moravian Christians, who lived in what is now the Czech Republic, found refuge from persecution on the estate of a generous German count. Within four years, more than 300 people came. But instead of an ideal community for persecuted refugees, the settlement became filled with discord...

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