Friday, May 15, 2009

Tiffany

Tiffany is part of our His Hands ministry team. She is young, energetic, and loves the Lord and the kids (you'd be surprised how many people try to work with us who actually don't!). The kids love her, too.
So it is with sadness that we say goodbye to Tiffany, at least for the summer. She is going to be going on a summer-long mission trip to Houston, Texas, working with a ministry similar to His Hands (if I've understood correctly), only on a much larger scale and with a primarily hispanic population. It is my hope that when she comes back to us in August, she is full of experience and wisdom, and that maybe His Hands will be better equipped to reach out to the growing hispanic culture here in Valdosta.
Tiffany started a blog so that we could all keep up with her over the summer. Feel free to check it out!
Beautifully Broken

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lessons Learned

In the eight years (almost nine!) that I have ministering to the disadvantaged children here in Valdosta, I have learned many lessons.
First, fulltime ministry is not easy. Sounds trite, I know, but so many people think they can quit their job, go into ministry, and in their head, not have to "work" anymore, or that because you're dealing with pastors and other Godly people that everyone's going to be nice and play fair. HA! I laugh in their face. I've never worked so hard in my life, been more frustrated, but also never so blessed. And although God's people are His, they're still just people.
Second, as far as support goes, don't put all your eggs in one basket. The body of christ is large and diverse. Why would you want to partner with only a small portion of it? "Every joint supplies a need."
Third, if you try to do everything yourself, if you think you're the only one who can do it "right", you'll be dead in 6-12 months. Maybe not physically dead, but you won't be much good to the kingdom. (At least until you quit thinking like that!)
Fourth, you have to be 'answerable' to someone. Someone has to be your sounding board, someone who can tell you, "Now, that's just plain crazy, you can't do that." or "You are going to have to apologize to so-and-so and make that right." or "You aren't seriously going to try to add that to your current schedule." For me, that person is primarily my husband, altough I also have an awesome Board of Directors. You must not forget to be "answerable" to your flock, as well. Scripture says to "submit yourselves one to another", in other words, don't just submit yourself "up", but all around! That means, even the youngest participant of our Bible Club is heard when they have a comment, complaint, suggestion, etc. When Mya tells me I'm grumpy, I check my attitude. When Zay wants to wash cars to raise money for camp, I help him make it happen.
At this point, I'm going to remind you that these are lessons I said I've learned over 8+ years. That means that for the most part, I've learned these lessons the hard way, finally walking it out. And there are so many more I'm currently learning.
We have always tried to breathe life into His Hands by monitoring and adjusting our ministry to better fit the needs of those we minister to. We've made mistakes along the way, but we're learning and growing. Together.