I wanted to share something with y'all that happened this week. My position here is somewhat different than most typical ministries or missionaries in that it is a mix of leading short teams, leading personnel and directing resources to build, maintain and develop the camp while managing it somewhat like a business (very similar to the business platforms of the IMB). Discipleship has been challenging because the ministry is atypical and we haven't had any permanent people working for us until recently.
I've had a worker over the last six months that the orphanage
provides that has been very difficult to work with. The son of an
orphanage worker, he often deceives or lies, needs constant supervision,
probably functions on a 7-8 grade mental and maturity level, claims to be a Christian
and at 24 already has a two year old daughter. He has already been fired him
once for dishonesty and blatantly not following direction. I've
attempted to coach him, get our orphanage director involved and share
with him to no avail ie. no change in attitude, behavior or choices.
This past week he again defied direction while working alongside another
orphan who was helping at the camp for a week. Although we now have a
national as the foreman of camp operations, this worker is critical to
camp function in that he does most of the physical work. Even with my
leadership experience, I didn't know what to do or where to go with
him. Sunday, we were doing home church while listening to Davids sermon
on the Sufficiency of Christ. He discussed 1 Peter 3 which talks about
both submission to authorities and not being 'slaves to sin'. The Lord
gave me the answer.
I called a meeting with the worker, his father (who has been a
believer for only 3 years) and his boss and my foreman (who at 35 is a
very strong believer, leader in both his indigenous (Quichiuan) church
and community. As I began to share in spanish, he immediately denied
wrongdoing, lied and took up a posture of defensiveness and increased
hardness of his heart! As soon as we began reading scripture though and
how it applied to following Gods authority we saw three things. His
shoulders lowered, his eyes softened and his mouth became unclenched.
We watched as the Lord pierced his soul with the Word! My brothers in
Christ stepped in and explained to him, only as they could, using what I
said - examples in cultural relevant terms and relating their own
stories of struggle and triumph. With tears in both his and his
Dad's eyes, we witnessed him go from rebellion to submission to apology (which
had never happened before) without prompting.
I share this only because I'm constantly amazed at how many times we still look to our insufficiency
or inability to impact others and not on the power of His Word or the
sufficiency of Christ alone. I am happy to declare I can't do what only
He can! The Word changes lives! I'm so grateful for Him allowing me to be a part of what He is doing but more for how He shows He can do it with or without me.