|Luciana is my compassion stress therapy.|
” Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.
5–6 You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble.”
If I was to base what we have done (Hesed Hope), based on donations received, team size, or doors thrown open, I would not consider us very successful so far. But we do not measure what we have done, or will do as man does. Yes, there is a “business side” to operating a ministry, but true success is not measured by the same scale as the world, but by the spirit of God. ‘
I told Dr. George Wood (AG Superintendent) when I met him one year ago, that our ministry was very small, and that I really did not know what our future held, but that my conviction came from knowing that each day, I am in God’s will – one day at a time. Today, yesterday, and in Joplin, I know I have been in God’s will. In the midst of trials (Alabama had plenty) I have been diligent to be exceedingly prayerful in the ministry for God’s will and purposes. Even today, I told my son Elijah, that if someday this ministry fell by the way side, shrunk and disappeared, I would not have felt that I missed God’s call, or His will in it. To me, it will never be measured in the size of our pocket book, or in the size of our mobilized teams, but in the lives we touch – one life at a time.
What I ask my team members, is that they be in God’s will as well. That they seek God for each deployment and know that God would have them be here. In that way, if we minister to 1, or 100, or 1,000, there will be no questions as to the will of God and His purposes for them.
Tomorrow I meet with a family, and obviously for the sake of confidentiality I would not give details. I will do all I can to help them, and help them help their kids. I will give them tools for helping each other, and tools to re-assess in the future. I will see where God directs for the weekend, and follow Him where He leads. And when it is all over, if I can know I touched one life with the comfort of Christ – brothers and sisters in Christ, or unbelievers, then the toil is not in vain. The toil is never ending – my daughter in law will tell you that after witnessing my ever ringing phone and emails; and the toil is never, ever in vain.
I have been one hurting individual more than once in my the past – and I can only hope that the people who ministered to me would never measure thier successes by financial gain or ministry size, but by the comfort of Christ. Jesus ended up at the cross with just one, but to that one, He was life itself, and the life was glorified and multiplied.
God has put steel in my convictions; and no matter what trouble may accompany the word, I will take great joy in the Holy Spirit.
Peterson, E. H. (2002). The Message : The Bible in contemporary language (1 Th 1:2–6). Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress.