happy valentine's day!

By Kris Calvert    2-14-2023

The greatest Love Letter ever written is God’s Word – drawing mankind into intimate relationship with the King of Kings, our Lord and our Savior. While man’s view of love is often fleeting and misguided; the love of God, the love of Yeshua ha’Mashiach (Jesus Christ) is eternal. Regardless our mistakes and sins, when we cast our eyes upon the Lord we experience His Perfect Love.

This Love Letter is not stagnant nor inapplicable regardless the generation we live in. We see where His Love Letter births new love letters to bring about His Glory, in His timing. For ex.: Samaritan’s Purse – Bob Pierce was an evangelist and journalist with Youth for Christ who after WW2 when traveling in China, “he stumbled across some courageous women who were living among lepers and orphans, sacrificing everything to share the love of Jesus Christ. Through their selfless love, God gave Pierce a vision for ministry. He dedicated himself to finding and supporting other such Christians who were caring for the poor and suffering in the distant corners of the world.” From Samaritans Purse website. Some 80 years later, Samaritan’s Purse has worked in over 100 countries. I wonder if Mr. Pierce could have even imagined what this ministry would become. What a wonderful love letter!

Another love letter was birthed about 11 years ago. The Lord spoke into Mark Harris, Founder & former CEO of 4Tucson, the desire to see Tucson aligned with God’s ways, so that His peace and prosperity are experienced by all generations. Mark recognized God’s provision over His people by giving “dominion” (that is, authority) over the many facets of influence in our city – hence the 12 domains which are such an integral part of what 4Tucson is. But, it’s not just about domains and their emphasis on bringing people of like interests together. 4Tucson is also about the taskforces bringing together people of diversity and yet like-minded in desiring to tackle the issues Tucson faces: i.e. housing, education, poverty, economic opportunities, etc.

I interrupt my musings to share that I have stepped down from writing the newsletters for the Prayer Domain. This is my last and it has been a wonderful journey. I wrote in my resignation letter, “This decision did not come easily. My humble opinion is that the newsletter should be written by someone who not only believes and hopefully walks out their faith & trust in prayer; but, also (and equally important) by someone who is invested regularly if not daily at 4Tucson.” Regrettably, since stepping down from Domain Director I have not been invested as I ought to be. One might want to speculate as to why; however, it is simply the Lord closing one door and opening another. More at the end.

As with any ministry birthed of the Lord, much prayer was part of that birthing process. It is the power of prayer that will sustain and give direction to ministries as they face the “feasts & famines” of life. And, most importantly, it is the faithfulness of others praying that not only sustains and encourages, but also guides and protects the workers. It would be remiss of me not to ask for prayer for 4Tucson’s staff. In seasons of change, they need (as we all need) the closeness of the Lord as they traverse into new territory. I am including email addresses if you feel so prompted to share a prayer or a word of encouragement.

LaKisha recently entered the role of 4Tucson’s CEO. She has large shoes to follow as Mark has transitioned to his new chapter in walking with the Lord. I know she’d appreciate prayer as she begins and maintains her new responsibilities. Pray for a greater measure of wisdom and discernment as she shares and implements her vision for the new year. Pray for grace as she meets with new donors and new strategic partners. LaKisha@4tucson.com

Lynda has now entered into the COO role AND she will continue her responsibilities as Poverty Reduction Taskforce Director. I know she would also appreciate prayer as she begins and maintains her new responsibilities. Please pray that Lynda will be able to juggle both roles with excellence – and still be able to receive the rest that she needs.  Lynda@4tucson.com

Paul is the dynamo Government Domain Director. His energy and commitment is amazing.  His faithfulness in providing tools for people to learn more about our history and government is to be commended. He encourages us to read up on potential laws and how they might affect us. Please pray for continued chutzpah as Paul remains faithful to his passion for government. Paul@4tucson.com

Thomas is the Social Service Domain Director whose passion for the weak and down-trodden is to be admired. His work with Fresh Start (a 4Tucson strategic partner and another ministry birthed by the Lord), is to be commended as its premise is to reduce recidivism and restore lives of those who’ve been incarcerated. Pray the Lord continues to use Tom’s powerful testimony to turn the eyes and spirits of the disenfranchised towards the saving grace of our Lord. Tom@4tucson.com

Tracelyn is the Economic Opportunity and Development Director. She has such a heart for encouraging others to reach beyond themselves. In order to do this, sometimes people need to be reacquainted or perhaps introduced for the first time to the importance of basic understandings of finances, business start-ups, etc. Please pray as she seeks new opportunities to help others to grow in these areas. Tracelyn@4tucson.com

Elizabeth is the one who not only has the energy but the fortitude to research and write several of 4Tucson’s Task Force reports. She also diligently prepares grants that might be applicable to 4Tucson. Anyone who has done this type of work knows how exacting and methodical one must be. Pray for Elizabeth as she does her research and prepares such tasks that are set before her. Elizabeth@4tucson.com

Jennifer is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to all things data. She is the unsung hero who continually assists all the above mentioned to make their jobs a wee bit easier. But data can also be a source of frustration when software doesn’t work properly or someone like me keeps forgetting how the “system” works. Please pray the Lord will continue to bathe her in His Shalom and give her confidence in all that she does. Jennifer@4tucson.com

It will be both exciting and interesting to watch how the Lord will continue to grow this 4Tucson ministry and expand its influence further within our community.  I truly believe this ministry was birthed by the Lord into one who was willing to step out in faith. And I believe that what the Lord begins He is faithful to see it to its perfect completion. We just have to do our part. May we be sensitive to the Lord’s leadership in our own lives as to what our part might be: prayer, volunteering, financial, etc.

As for me, well, the Lord opened the door in a couple of ministries here in Tucson to use the gifts and talents He’s given me. I also plan to start a blog where I hope to write about (but not be limited to) my faith journey, current events, and what the Lord is showing me through His Word and through Messianic teachings. It has been a privilege and an honor to share my musings with you over the past 2 years. I hope it has blessed you as much as it has blessed me. I thank you for your encouragement and prayers.  Finally, it is my heartfelt prayer that our paths will one day cross again.

“Adonai bless you and keep you!

Adonai make His face to shine on you

and be gracious to you!

Adonai turn His face toward you

and grant you shalom!” Num.6:24-26