– Garnet Wheaton, Board Chair
“…Let us strip off every weight that slows us down…and let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
The fast-paced growth and constant change of our ministry has been challenging for all of us to keep up with, but so rewarding as we view the impact of what God is doing through this ministry. It is my prayer that we will keep our eyes focused on our Saviour, and would not allow the changes necessitated by growth to distract us from introducing people to Jesus.
Faith is the single most important quality that God wants to develop in our lives because our faith is at the core of who we are and how we conduct ourselves. Seeing God’s power demonstrated in our ministry strengthens my faith and encourages me to trust Him more. What gives me comfort and confidence is not our collective human capability, but to see God’s hand at work in our ministry.
Over the years, and especially in the last few months, God has blessed us in amazing ways. We have seen it in the recruitment of staff, the addition of international partners, and ministry opportunities. Yes, God is working in our midst, and our challenge is to keep pace with what we need to do—without getting in God’s way, thinking we can do this on our own.
I would like to share an experience that encouraged me and strengthened my faith. As you may know, our family has a small farm where we grow Christmas trees. In November, we were busily preparing to ship several tractor-trailer loads to the United States. Being a seasonal operation, help is always in short supply. I knew right from the start that I would be hands-on in the harvesting and delivery of our trees to market.
Just before lunch on the second day of harvest, I realized my glasses were not on my face. I had no idea where to look for them; I had covered a lot of ground that morning. I just figured they were gone, and somehow I would make do. When I met my wife Kay to have lunch, she was more concerned than I was. She knows the extent of my near-sightedness and was upset, thinking about all the driving I was going to do in heavily congested traffic.
I called every available optometrist in our area to get an appointment and new glasses to no avail. That evening, we had five inches of snow, and Kay gave up thinking of looking for them. She messaged our daughters and enlisted their prayers concerning what she felt was a dire situation. (Kay already pictured me in a terrific accident and thought she may soon be a widow.)
Much to my surprise, when I got to the tree lot the next morning, the baling crew had already started baling trees and had something to show me. They had found a pair of glasses frozen into the top of a tree covered in snow, and they didn’t know who they belonged to. I hadn’t said a word about losing my glasses, and they were miraculously spotted before being destroyed in the baler.
I have seen God work in mighty ways in our ministry over the past several months, but this unbelievable answer to prayer was a personal assurance of God’s presence in my life. It was like God putting His hand on my shoulder and saying, “I am with you, and you can trust Me to meet your every need.”
As we move forward in ministry, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and stay focused on the important things. Our mission is to introduce people to Him. We must be careful not to become distracted by the many changes and demands of a growing ministry, or of thinking we can handle this on our own. We are so dependent on our Saviour, and without His wisdom and provision we would not accomplish much. Our faith gives us confidence and strength to serve Him in the building of His Kingdom