Friday, July 24, 2009

Ministry is a 2-way Street

This summer, my family had the wonderful privilege of going to a Christian family Dude Ranch near Estes Park, Colorado for a week. We spent an amazing week enjoying God's creation in the mountains of Colorado, getting to know several other families from around the U.S., studying God's Word together every morning, horseback riding, having fun with our kids (even our teenagers), and being spoiled by the staff at Wind River Ranch ( My brief description here will never do it justice. This is a ranch you must experience for yourself.

I continuously saw examples of how the staff took their job seriously as they served others by praying for them, offering words of encouragement, teaching our children about God's love for them, role modeling Christian values for our teenagers, glorifying God in all they did,... The staff and ranch hands put in long days but their focus seemed unwavering. Keep your eyes on Christ-the maker and perfecter of your soul.

It was truly a mountaintop experience. While I thought I might have been able to offer some encouragement to some of them, they gave back so much more to me and my family. Too often, we approach ministry as a 1-way street.
What can my pastor do for me?
How can this person serve me?

We forget that healthy relationships and healthy ministries must be built on 2-way communication. While I may have been able to encourage a few people while we were there, I can certainly continue to offer words of encouragement to them through cards and prayers on their behalf.

What ministries has the Lord put in your life? How have you viewed those ministries (ie-as a 1-way or 2-way street)? What action do you need to take to begin to have 2-way communication with those ministries (ie-offer words of encouragement, send an email, offer to pray for them,...)?

We are to be Christ's hands and feet in this world. Let Him lead you as you begin this 2-way process.

Serving Him,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Created to Serve

I have just returned from a wonderful week of serving Christ in Ecuador. I traveled with a team of 16 others (6 of whom were teenagers-including my daughter) who served tirelessly. Our team had 6 tasks this week.

First, we completed construction on a school building. The area we worked in was the only area (out of 4 total) that did not have a school building.

Second, we worked on an actual bathroom for this school (they currently have a bamboo building with a hole dug out in the middle of the ground) and a septic area.

Third, we paid for a well (for fresh water) to be dug while we were there. Their current water source was a well dug near a drainage ditch which supplied them with brown water they used for washing dishes, clothes, and drinking.

Fourth, we conducted a Vacation Bible School all week so the children could learn about Jesus. Our teens gave out hundreds of Gospel bracelets and had a blast playing soccer with the children.

Fifth, we held medical clinics in all 4 of the schools that were located on the plantation were we worked.

Sixth, our most important work was sharing the love of Christ with each person we encountered.

Our work has only just begun, however. Our continuing task will be to pray for this group of people to not only accept Christ as Lord and Savior but also to grow in their faith and love of Christ. Being there last week helped to plant seeds of faith, to show them that they have not been forgotten by the Lord, and that He loves them deeply.

This is my third mission trip to Ecuador and my daughter's second trip. My job as a mother is to not only role model servanthood for my children but to also encourage them to serve as God directs them. What a privilege it has been to serve Christ with my daughter at my side. Even though we are back in the states, our service must continue through our prayers for the people we encountered, the physician and his family from Ecuador that we work with each year, and for God to provide new ways to serve Him locally.

What are you doing with the talents and abilities God has given you? How can you serve those around you both near and far? I would encourage you to ask Him to guide you into an area of service for Him. The world needs to see Christ in us, the Hope of Glory.

"Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out, yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now." by Saint Teresa of Avila

In His service,