As I reflected back on some of the events of last year, I am reminded of something my mentor once told me: “Everyday, you are a piece of history for yourself, for your family, and for maybe, someone else out there.” i am reminded and thankful for all of the things that I have been able to do not only for my only experience but to help some people in the process.
2012 wasn’t a year of sunshine and spring air. It had its shares of downs and rain too. While I am always grateful for the many lessons I learned, I would like to extend those lessons to my readers.
#1 Need comes in different forms
Almost every place that we traveled to, we ended up being used to help someone in need. Whether it was a young pastor who was experiencing hard times, a married couple who was not on track with God, or someone who was in a hard situation…God doesn’t give us the role of “weekend pastor” just for the congregational event, but also one-on-one. I am appreciative of the ministers that I had dinner one-on-one with at every church that I served at. I am appreciative of the teams that serve these churches week in and week out. I am appreciative of the people who focus 100% on the needs of others but at the time time, still reach out for help themselves knowing that God strengthens those who call on His help. I am appreciative of the never-ending shortage of prayer and support that the Lord uses through us for the needs of others.
#2 My life has a purpose to someone
While being at home, I didn’t really “serve” much throughout my local city. The church that I attend had social events where I serve as a tech-person. It doesnt really fit my “spiritual gifts” as a teacher or pastor but it is something that I can do to help until something better comes along. While my heart’s desire is to “teach or preach” to Deaf people locally, that door has not opened yet. And while that door hasn’t opened yet, my sense of “purpose” hasn’t really felt big. But I am reminded that its the little things that matter the most. Visiting friends and keeping company. Hanging out with the guys and having a coffee with them. Simple text messaging conversations to brighten up each other’s days. My life has a purpose to someone and it doesn’t require standing in front of a group of people or teaching a lesson. Its all about relationships.
#3 Making myself more available
2012 was my first FULL year, after leaving a full-time pastoral position, of being available. I made a purpose to be available as much as I could. Whether it was to meet someone one-on-one, couples counseling, or just to help someone with their needs….I tried more harder this time to be open more. The biggest disappointment for me was the fact that I still was not able to do MORE for God in the areas that I knew I could serve Him better at. Our church started up a Bible Study on Wednesday evenings but it did not seem to hit home for me and my wife, so we decided to not continue to go and allow God to show us what He wanted us to do and maybe God will move us to serve elsewhere. I also have had more time with my family, more time to coach my little girl’s sports and also to spend more time with my son and his basketball needs. This is a big thing for me and will continue to broaden that as much as needed.
So thats for 2012 lessons…. what am I to do for 2013?
Church. As of now, me and my wife are currently going to be praying and visiting other churches in the Metro Louisville area. The church that we have been attending is a great church. Alot of good friends there and great outreach program. But we feel the Lord is moving us on to create new opportunities somewhere else. We have already visitied some churches already and will continue to look more for a church home that will open its doors to a new work.
N.A.M.B. (North American Mission Board) is working with me on starting up a new Deaf church in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area. We already have a potential pastor in that area, a potential church home, but we are now waiting for the pastor to select his team. Once the team is selected, then NAMB will likely ask me to come weekly on Wednesday evenings to teach Basic Church Planting lessons for the team to learn together before the church launch. This is an exciting thing and I am praying that God will bless this new work.
212jam Ministries is blooming. While most of 212jam is revolved around music, I am finding more and more Deaf groups inviting me for the preaching / revivals / conferences part MORE than the music / concert parts. This is fine and acceptable. It just goes to show me that God is changing some things and I need to prepare for it better. In this year alone I have 11 speaking / preaching roles and 5 music / concert roles. The newest and most exciting part are the Deaf Mens Conferences in Minnesota & Columbus, Ohio area as I have prayed for the opportunity to challenge our Deaf men someday and instead, God gives me two opportunities.
It is my prayer that 2013 teaches me more valuable lessons than the years before. May God continue to use me, my family, and our witness to all those we cross paths with. God bless you!