Over the years in Haiti, the cycle of planning and preparing, implementing and teaching was the ongoing schedule for me, Catherine. Coming and going as we did, brought new challenges to this schedule, thus adjustments galore and lots of spiritual stretching exercises, some very uncomfortable. I didn’t know I could stretch in such ways. I like fixed schedules, yet nothing was fixed that I was involved in. Venues changed, participants were not consistent, and other programs were implemented.
How does one maintain some level of control in this kind of situation? Many times, I must admit, I felt like quitting and throwing in the towel. But, just when I needed the encouragement to keep going, the LORD God made a way to encourage me.
I, Catherine, have personal pillars with personal lessons that I call my Ministry Pillars in Haiti.
What is ministry really? What does it look like? Well, that can look different on many levels and to each person. We have our own preconceived ideas of what ministry should look like, but in the end, it is the LORD God who directs and knows how best to minister in any given situation and place.
Every year over the eight (8) years of serving in Haiti, the LORD God gave me pillar lessons how to trust Him, lean on Him, know who I am in Him, teaching me what he can accomplish when I let go and let Him or when I get out of the way, and so much more. These pillars that the LORD gave me were what gave me something to LEAN on, literally.
A pillar is a tall solid structure, which signifies support and is usually used to support part of a building.
In the Bible, a pillar represents various things:
- God’s house (Gen 28:22)
- A witness (Gen 31:52)
- Where God appears to His people (Num 14:14)
- A memorial (2Sa 18:18)
- A support of the Temple of God (2 Ki 11:14)
- A signpost
- Where God speaks
- A support of God’s Church, and
- An overcomer.
Printed on each pillar are the phrases we are all familiar with. These were my lessons. The scriptures are the meaning that back the phrases on the pillars. Below the scripture, I have explained briefly how it all applied me on a personal level.
Philippians 4:11 – Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Blooming where planted. When what you have planned in serving the LORD doesn’t happen the way you thought, and the best thing to do was to ask the LORD, okay now what? What do you want me to do?
Asking this question is a bit scary. For me and possibly many of you, the answer may not be what you think it will be or should be. I asked the LORD many times, is this really ministry? Is this really what you want me to do? It is a tough learning curve sometimes, but when I yielded to Him, trust in Him and just did it, and became okay with it, the ministry went a lot better. I need to remember that He also knows the greatest need.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together(G4903)for good to them, that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
(G4903) means fellow worker, that is, co-operate (We are cooperating with Christ, laboring with Him for the benefit of others)
It’s all good. That is too easy to say. No not everything is good, at least on the surface. Roadblocks, hurdles, miscommunication, getting made fun of, getting shunned, etc. are examples of what is a far cry from “it’s all good”. But, with the LORD God, He works all things out for his glory. When circumstances seem questionable or unbearable, we don’t need to worry. He’s got this.
The mental load seemed great. I had taught my own four children for 12 years; but I never designed a curriculum this size, taught larger groups, and three different age groups in a different culture. I love designing and planning, but this was almost over the top.
Who would be my translator? Would I explain the lesson well enough for each age group? Would the translator understand? How will I keep up? Where will we meet? What is the best way to teach in the culture? What tools do I use? Will I get the tools in time? It was literally one day at a time for me. I didn’t drive and counted on others, especially my dear husband, Les. It always seemed to work out because he was always running errands for people or fit it in somehow to get me to where I needed to go. THANK YOU, LES! And, thank you, Yvald, for translating for me.
The LORD God really does have everything in control. It all worked out and the LORD provided. Trusting Him through each circumstance is an opportunity for personal spiritual growth. The curriculum was on the 7 Days of Creation in English/Creole.
The classes included worksheets to color, video cassette holders that held color pencils and worksheets, memory verses rebus style, flannel board where I would ask them to tell the creation story.
The LORD spoke to my heart many times, saying, “I’ve got this.” And, I can say truthfully that He does.
I hope this has been an encouragement to you for your own walk with the LORD. We all have a special journey. My prayer and encouragement for you are to trust Him and let go of your concerns and let Him take the reigns. There is so much freedom when we yield to Him.
Has the LORD used you in your weakness?
Until next month, stay strong.