The parties started well over 6 months ago. It is quite humbling, especially when you are a borderline introvert, to receive thanks and praise for ministry that has been part of your heart for 41 years. My days in the World Renew office will end on June 30, 2015 (with some additional time reserved for orienting Carol Bremer-Bennett when she begins in the end of July). I have indeed been humbled by all the recognition for simply doing what God has laid on my heart to do.
The thank-you celebrations, cards, and gifts have quite frankly been overwhelming so I want to take this opportunity to deflect the praise in a number of directions. First, I want to give praise to God. Next to my family and friends, and then to an incredible team of people who can make any leader look good.
Proverbs 19:17 reads “Those who are kind to the poor, lend to the Lord. He will reward them for what they have done”. Ministry to those in need is at the heart of the Gospel. It is meant to transform both the intended recipient and the benefactor. The recognition of ministry accomplished is a praise offering to God. It is the Body of Christ recognizing that together we are addressing the things that break God’s heart and so also ours. I praise God for how those whom world considers poor have touched my life and faith, and also the life and faith of our churches and supporters.
In ministry family and friends are critical. A worldwide ministry of disaster response and community development requires travel, and there is a cost to that. The sacrifice of my family, accommodating an accumulation of approximately 10 years of nights away from home, is a gift I will always carry as a debt to be repaid. The accountability and prayers from friends and church family remains a source of motivation and encouragement. You cannot do this journey alone.
Whenever I receive the thanks and congratulations, I say thank you on behalf of an awesome team of co-workers within World Renew first of all, and then also those in other agencies and services in the CRC denomination, as well as friends in partnership around the world. Ministry can only happen well when the Body functions together well. Christ’s Body is diverse and the gifts of the Spirit are well distributed. I praise God for my co-laborers. May they perceive daily the blessings that come from ministering in the name of Christ.
World Renew US