Friday, June 22, 2012

in God's time...

Learned a powerful lesson over the last two weeks.

At our last Loudoun HTTF meeting, we shared reports and began to talk about our next action step. During the discussion Amanda spoke up and said we needed to be mindful of being good stewards of what God has given to us.
At that point, we stopped and spent the rest of our time in prayer that the Holy Spirit led us to God's will, to be good stewards of what He has given us.

My personal impressions from that prayer session were: be hands and feet, be good stewards, allow God to open doors.

Here were the immediate results:

In our time: we were asked to create a “Round Table”. To bring together non-profits working with human trafficking, social workers, law enforcement, shelters and others to a “round table” to discuss how to approach the problem of human trafficking in our area. The planning was a dismal failure. Why? Because in retrospect that idea wasn't in God's planning & timing for US.

In God's time: His plan was for someone else to create the network in our northern Virginia area. Someone who had more clout and was paid to do the work. We were invited to attend a Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Forum. When the forum plenary session started we all looked at each other and went “Wow!”. It was almost exactly what was envisioned for the “Round Table”.

Note to self: For me personally, it was a defining moment. A reminder that we may even see the vision, but we need to let God tell us when to move. We didn't need to do the work, we simply needed to show up and be the...

...Hands and feet Through out the day, there were several conversations with various organizations that had needs for hands and feet (people). Several requests were specifically for people of faith. Some of these specific requests were:
we need counselors
we need hotline workers
we need people to hold hands
we need families to mentor survivors
we need supplies to fill the houses and rooms of the survivors
we want to work together with others

Gee whiz, guess what? We have hands and feet (people) that want to serve. This is that opportunity (open doors) to be good stewards of people that God has connected us with other the last year.

Our perceived needs: We have been needing some simple cold, hard facts that human trafficking does exists in Northern Virginia as ammunition for naysayers we are running into. When we entered the forum, in our folders was a hand out from the U.S. District Attorneys office. It was 6 pages of convictions over the last year of human trafficking cases: domestic, labor and sex trafficking.

In conclusion, my recommendations for our team: we are going to be spending a lot more time in prayer. Allowing God to led us and only move when we are sure it's a door that God is opening.

Monday, June 4, 2012

red thread...

I actually have been toying with this idea for a couple years.The idea first came to me when we were in the designing stages of producing the book “Revealing the Relevant Word” for our reading through the Bible in a year with Cross Current...
The background:
I like studying demographics in relation to the church. One interesting tidbit I found was that the fastest growing community in our zip code is the Asian community. I have talked about it often.
I was also doing some research on the concept of the legend of the “red thread”.
“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of the time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break” - Chines Proverb
At that point I was seeing that God's Word was the thread that connected us to Him. That this thread connect us to Him and our true destination is to meet God.
The final prompt was a family that is about to receive their newest child into their family. She is a sweet girl from China. I have since learned that the adoptive community have picked up on this legend to represent linking the child to their forever home.
So mash-up all that with our current series: love God, love others, serve the world...
I decided to create a red thread to use in the stage design.

As if often true, there may be only a few that will “get” what this stage design is all about; but it will be worth it.
This took HOURS...
364 yards of red yarn