I originally wrote and published this post for The Agapao Movement’s blog. I wanted to share it here too.
A primary passion of Agapao’s heart is to offer support and encouragement to individuals and organizations who are working to assist others and make a positive impact in the world. The topic of this article is inspired by conversations with numerous vocational ministers; as-well-as personal experience on the journey to fulfill the Divine calling entrusted to me. This is the first of several posts that will unpack what I call “The Priesthood of Isolation”. My prayer is that it brings encouragement; as-well-as restitution among those set aside to shepherd the Body of Christ.
Oftentimes a position in missions and ministry can be a lonely place to find oneself. I know this as these are the comments I hear from brothers and sisters in HIS service around the world and I have experienced this isolation myself. It seems strange that this is a major issue among the students whose teacher said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples”.
So, what prevents us from loving one another (and supporting one another) as Christ instructs us to do? I don’t ask this question lightly, or with the inclination that there is just one answer. No, that would be too simple and indicate a simple solution. Rather, this loneliness that so many of us feel is brought about by a tangled web of complex personal and institutional (namely the Church) conditions that can leave one feeling not just alone, but downright discouraged in following their personal vision of missions/ministry.
Before I delve any further into my thoughts and feelings about this topic let me first say, this is not a blanket indictment against the institution of the Church (the Body of Christ) nor ministers /missionaries as a whole. It’s simply my way of processing some shared accounts of dejection from cohorts; as-well-as to process some of my own experiences.
While my comments here may be misunderstood as a criticism that is not my purpose; rather, to prompt Believers to consider their interactions with others through the lens of Christ’s commands; also, to encourage those who are wounded in ministry to know you are not alone and to seek encouragement from someone you can trust to help care for your wounds and offer godly counsel and support.
Keep Your Eyes Facing Forward
We Have Needs BUT We Know the Need Solver Serving in a “small ministry” can sometimes feel overwhelming with the needs that we face. Actually, they are not specifically our needs; rather the needs of those we strive to serve through our ministry…
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I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of the snow. I guess it’s a good thing I live in Georgia where it only snows every couple of years or so. This year has been extremely unusual in that we have had snow twice this winter. The first one practically shut down metro Atlanta and the most recent storm on February 11 came with some pretty terrifying warnings. The National Weather Service office in Peachtree City, Ga. “warned of a potentially “catastrophic” second blow in the form of a thick layer of ice that could result in widespread power outages” with the “potential for it to be a catastrophic event”.
So, I, like everyone else in Gwinnett County ventured out to procure emergency supplies (“just in case”) and found two Wal-Mart stores sold completely out of “D” batteries and flashlights. WHAT?! People were roaming the aisles searching for supplies…it was crazy weird. I will sum it up by saying I do not want to be in this area when the Zombie apocalypse happens.
Anyway, back to my original thoughts in writing this post….snow days. I ventured out on a little hike this morning to take a few snaps. I will say, a good thing about snow is the beauty it creates within our everyday settings. Here are a few of my snaps.
PS: Please, Dear Lord, let the kids go back to school soon. Amen.
A couple of years ago we started a nonprofit charity called, Agapao, Inc. with a goal to build an orphanage in India. We are about halfway through with getting the orphanage building built, but in those two years we have expanded our “vision”. One way we have done this is to open an online shop – www.AgapaoStore.com where we will sell handmade and cultural items to (1) raise funds, and (2) raise awareness for the work we are doing.
Recently, we have applied for a national small business grant with a grand prize of $25,000.00. To move to the final round we have to get our friends to vote for us online. It’s really easy and takes less than 30 seconds…really! All you have to do is follow this link and click on the “Vote for This Business” button – see the screenshot below for a visual.
You can vote once-a-day, everyday, until the contest closes on February 23. Thanks for helping us out!
Recently I changed web hosting providers for my personal blog and was greatly disappointed to loose two-and-a-half years of blogging history. I know, I know…there should be a way to recover the blog file, but after trying what I knew and calling for help I still don’t have the data. So, [big sigh] I have resolved myself to the idea that so many of my blogged thoughts and comments are forever lost somewhere in cyberspace.
So, after what looks like a 30 month sabbatical I am just going to pick up and keep blogging. Like my grandmother used to say, “no use crying over spilt milk”
I hope to re-blog some of the missing posts and maybe catch up on posts that I intended to complete, but didn’t.
I recently received the following update and pictures in an email from one of our pastor friends in India,
Greetings from Pastor.Kumar in Jesus Loving name.
You might know there is a continuous flood in Andhra Pradesh.
There are many pastor’s houses and thatched churches been fall down and some are washed away by waters, but I visited two villages among many and seen their wretched condition and helped as I could. They don’t have food or clothes. So I am asking to help them with some funds and pray for them. I am sending some pictures,of the effected area.
We love you and praying for you.
Yours in his service.
If you would like to make a donation toward helping to provide food or supplies for rebuilding homes and/or churches you make do so by clicking here and selecting the DONATION button. You may also send a check, payable to Agapao, Inc. to 4555 Creek Bluff Drive, Sugar Hill, GA 30518 (place flood relief in the memo)
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Here are a few pictures in honor of Aleks’ ninth birthday!
Thirteen years ago today God allowed me to meet the most incredible being I had ever seen, Madison Grace. From the very first moment I knew you were coming into the world I loved you and know that God has a great plan for your life. It’s hard to believe that thirteen years have come and gone, but I can hardly remember the time that you were not in my life. You are an incredible girl and I can’t wait to see what God will use you for as you continue to grow.
The chorus from the song, “Words I Would Say” always make me think of you!
Be strong in the Lord and, Never give up hope,
You’re going to do great things, I already know,
God’s got His hand on you so, Don’t live life in fear,
Forgive and forget, But don’t forget why you’re here,
Take your time and pray, These are the words I would say.
I love you Maddie Grace! Happy 13th Birthday!!!
See my photo gallery of Maddie here
I wanted to share these pictures In commemoration of Madison’s 13th Birthday.
Madison's 13th Bday Cake
Maddie asked me to make the cake for her 13th birthday party. It’s been looooong time since I have made a cake, but we do a lot of things because our children ask. It wasn’t the prettiest cake, but it tasted great (if I do say so myself). I can’t take too much credit since I just followed a recipe that I swiped online, but I wanted to share so you could try if you want…
Keep reading for the recipe
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