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Ed Anderson is chief administrative officer at Habitat for Humanity International. He is based in Naples, Florida. Read his Advent reflection below:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” - Deuteronomy 31:6-9

After 40 years of leading the Israelites in the desert, and at the age of 120, Moses is passing the leadership of the nation to Joshua. What should he tell the people? How can he give them hope in a time of uncertainty? What guarantee can Moses give over a million people that will guide them when he is gone? A leader transition is always difficult. What is the best assurance Moses can give them? 

Young children hate when their parents go away, whether to go to work, run an errand or just take a moment for themselves. I suspect I was no different. When I was growing up, my father was a federal park ranger in Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia. Depending on the tasks he had to perform, the size of the park and the issues he might encounter, he could be gone for days before returning. I am sure I pitched a fit each time my father left, but my mother would assure me that he would return. 

Moving into a new location or home is also difficult. We moved our home every three to four years, often without my father because he was either waiting for his replacement or completing duties at his previous assignment. The days, and sometimes weeks, waiting for him to arrive were often filled with anxiety, but my mother would always assure me that my father would join us soon.

In the passages in Deuteronomy, Moses assures the people twice not to be afraid and that God will always be with them. Our heavenly Father never leaves or forgets us. He is a strong and reliable Father. Our hope is in Him.

Through our work at Habitat, we are on our own journey as we pursue a world where everyone has a decent place to live. As we move forward, we must also be strong and courageous. There is much uncertainty with the global housing crisis, and our organization is undergoing its own process of change and transformation. Throughout each challenge, though, we are not alone. During this season of Advent, let us remember the assurance of the Lord that He shall direct our path and guide us in His work.


Father God, we praise You for Your love, grace and mercy. You are our hope. As we travel our paths and face the challenges of change and transformation, gently and frequently remind us that You are with us and will never leave us. As we experience triumphs and blessings, gently and frequently remind us that You are with us and will never leave us. We place our hope and trust in You, Lord. Please continue to guide us as Habitat serves those in need of safe and affordable housing. In Your powerful and loving name, amen.

Read more of Habitat's Advent reflections here or donate to support our work here.


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