Monday, January 30, 2017

I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God...

Exodus 17:8-13
Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.

Two weeks ago ESL started again for the Spring semester and I just wanted to give you a brief update. God is moving in some amazing ways to evolve the ESL program into something better and it is so neat to watch.  Sometimes God uses people and ways that you don't expect. We are moving forward to stage 2 of the ESL plan.  

When I proposed the ESL program almost 2 years ago I wrote in my 5 year plan that I wanted to partner with other churches in the area to expand the program.  I also wrote that I wanted to have a ministry to the three colleges in the area.  I had NO IDEA how either of those things would come to be. 

Over this Fall I was starting to feel a little bit like Moses - weary.  This Fall was going to be my break, time to regroup, time to think through the ministry and come up with new ideas for it.  But that didn't happen.  The director that was going to take over me for the fall semester (while I was on maternity leave) moved away.  So, with less then a month to ESL, we scrambled around to figure out some way for ESL to run each Thursday without me having to be there.  Of course, God provided staff to be boots-on-the-ground and they did an amazing job or keeping things running.  I am so thankful for the three people he provided to keep things straight every Thursday and all the many additional hands that came and helped with set-up, registration, and interviews.  God provided, but I still had to spend time organizing and directing some. It wasn't the break I was hoping for (especially when you add in a newborn and mono). 

But God is always moving and working. I entered December tired and discouraged because it was getting harder to find volunteers, especially for our children's ministry. But guess what? In the summer, a friend of a friend had contacted me and asked to teach in our ESL ministry. I accepted, of course, who says no when someone is asking to help?!? I didn't expect her to have the same vision for ESL and want to take ideas and run with them. But she did and she is moving the vision of ESL forward to other churches. I am so thankful for Ginger.

I have had policies to update since last Summer. She has taken them and transformed them. She has set up meeting with other churches and contacted people at local colleges. She has recruited childcare volunteers, ESL teachers, and snack donations. I just show up for meetings and talk about ESL. She has held my hands steady so that ESL can continue and I am so grateful for her encouragement and desire to partner in this ministry. 

I am excited to see what happens in the future. We continue to pray for doors to be opened to sharing the gospel with international students and people in our community.  Please, pray with us when you think of us. We can do nothing without His power. 

1 comment:

Ginger said...

I am so glad God lead me to Providence's ESL ministry and to helping you. I am excited to see what God has in store. I also think it's funny we wrote about ESL at the same time.