It has been several weeks since I have updated the blog. It seems as though life has been extremely hectic since returning from India. I guess we could best call this post a November recap.
Early this month a man entered our lives who was different from some of the others we had encountered on the streets. Although his story was similar and his circumstances were not uncommon, his level of confidence and his seeming determination set him apart. For 2 weeks we worked with him to find a solution for housing and employment. This man was so magnetic, that we were even meeting others, whom he was meeting in the shelters and out on the street.
Unfortunately, his desire to change was not as strong as his desire to take the easy road. We were all devastated as his choices became apparent. God also showed me just how much further I need to come as well. When it comes to personality and temperament, I am high justice and low mercy. When the deceit of this man came to light, I did not allow my justice to be tempered with mercy…reflecting back, I realize that my reactions to his actions left few open doors to continue to influence his life. These lessons are painful.
During the month we have been joined by some new faces, who are stirred by our passion and philosophy of ministry. This has always been one of the directives that the Lord has given us…showing others how to cut out the distractions of “church life” and return to a strong focus on Jesus. Through these interactions, the Lord is raising up co-laborers, who I believe will journey beside us for some time to come.
We have also be visited by a great number of people from the street, past contacts and other acquaintances. God is obviously doing something special in us and through us. It will be exciting to see what the end product ends up looking like.
This has also been our most difficult month since starting Simplicity. Carol and I did not have the money to pay our rent this month, and were very blessed when one of our new co-laborers stepped in and met this need for us. For the first time in our lives we were also unable to pay either car payment, the home in PA went into foreclosure and we currently owe the IRS about $400. God has taken us to a place of complete lack and brokenness….a place that when we read stories like Job, we hope He never does to us. I don’t regret the journey, for I see how much God has been molding and shaping us, but it has taken an emotional and physical toll on both of us. The Lord continues to assure us that this time of intense testing is almost done. This has been echoed by several close to us who intercede regularly for our family and ministry.
The Lord continues to guide me in my business building efforts. I would liken this to farming. I am doing an awful lot of plowing and sowing….in God’s perfect timing these efforts will become all that they are meant to be. It will be very obvious that God’s hand was behind all that has transpired. My role has simply been to “cast my bread upon the water.”