Past Ministry Experiences
Because of my personal experiences with having disabilities, many of my ministry experiences have involved, in one way or another, helping others who are disabled. While at Moody, one of my classes was in learning how to help begin a program for the disabled in the church. Then I was able to work with an organization called "HandiVangelism" for one summer, and also with "Camp Hope", both of which are camps for the disabled. Later I was able to work in Quito with an organization called "Campamento Esperanza" ("Camp Hope"), which the director of the American "Camp Hope" helped to establish in Ecuador. During that time, I worked in publicity and fund raising, but also discipled a few disabled young men in their homes.
In July of 1996, I went to work with
the same mission organization that my folks work at, an
organization called HCJB
(Heralding Christ Jesus' Blessings
My time in Shell was so-o-o-o blessed of God. I worked as a chaplain of the jungle hospital there; the people could see my personal physical challenges, but also could see the joy of the Lord in me, which is my strength, and could see that I was living a fulfilled life, regardless of the challenges that God has allowed to come my way. This drew them to desire the same for themselves. During five months there in the jungle, 80 people accepted Christ!
During my time in the jungle, I also had fun, often faith-stretching experiences. At the beginning of the school-year, I was invited to go quite deeply into the jungle (I was flown by a missionary in a small twin-engine airplane, with a young teenager to be my translator), to give the students at a jungle high-school chapel services during their first week of classes. Satan bared his ugly teeth, and the first day that I was there, I was given some problems; in the end, I was told not to teach anything from the Bible! The way it turned out, I was in a different class each hour, but seeing as they did not have enough teachers, I was the fill-in for the class without a teacher, and therefore had no supervision. I gave a short talk on "The value of Education", or on "What their attitude should be towards their parents, and how that would compare with what their attitude would be towards their teachers." Being as I was the fill-in for the missing teacher, I would still have about half-an-hour to burn, since the other classes were still in session. I taught them to see sing the chorus of "Jesus Loves Me" in Spanish, English, and sign language. "Why do you think that this means 'Jesus'?", I would ask, touching the center of each palm with the middle finger of the other hand. When I got no response, I'd explain who Christ was, and about His sacrificial death for us on the cross.
At the present time, I work at Jesus People, USA's (JPUSA) retirement home for senior citizens; many of them are of low financial status, or else have no other source of support. JPUSA purchased a Senior Citizens' Retirement Hotel that was going out of business, and whose building and services were in very poor repair. The upper three floors were restored first for the seniors which remained; they were moved up to those floors. Then the renovation was completed , and all of JPUSA was moved to this facility.
My job, in working with "Friendly Towers Retirement Residence", is to be a friend and a support for the seniors who are living here. It is a challenge to always respond in an adequate manner to the problems and complaints that the seniors may have, and I covet your prayers. Pray that the seniors may see in me the character of Christ; "Christ in me, the hope of glory." Pray that my actions, and sometimes even more importantly, my reactions, would mirror Jesus.
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