One of the busiest weeks of ministry with FLORECE was also one filled with the greatest blessings.
Starting a brand-new ministry means a lot of "learning as you go." One of those areas for us was the creation of an application and screening process for volunteers. We found ourselves needing to apply the process retroactively, as the conception and birth of FLORECE had taken several years, with interested individuals joining along the way before we were ever a formal entity. Thankfully, our current group of ladies were gracious and committed to being "guinea pigs" (or as they say here in Chile, "conejillas de india") and willingly embraced these new requirements.
So it was that ministry colleagues Kim, Pam and I found ourselves hearing the personal testimonies of each of our FLORECE volunteers over the course of one very busy week as part of our newly established application process. It was an amazing privilege. During the course of the week, I wrote the following thoughts in my journal:
Such a tremendous encouragement to hear salvation testimonies during our volunteer interviews this week. What God has reminded me through them:
- He seeks and finds us (placing people, circumstances in our lives at the right moment)
- His timing is not our timing, but is perfect
- Some plant, some water, God gives the harvest
- We never know what word of witness or invitation will touch the right person at the right time - so keep talking!
- No one is outside the reach of God's grace - no matter how long it takes or what they have done
- God uses crises in our life to draw us to Him
- No circumstance of our life is ever wasted if we are willing to let God use it (in this context, especially to help/encourage others)
- Keep praying and sharing with those you love
- God is always at work, even when we cannot see it
- Transformation after salvation is not always immediate; but God faithfully works in us
Every testimony was unique to the individual, but the truths above were consistently woven throughout each interview. Not only did hearing their stories deepen my admiration and gratitude for each of these special ladies, but it also increased my sense of wonder at the sovereign workings of our great God! There is no other word but awesome for the way He calls, connects, creates crossroads, and compassionately and patiently draws His children into fellowship with Him. I pray I remember these testimonies when I am tempted to give up on an individual or to grow complacent about sharing my faith. And I pray God blesses and uses each of these wonderful women who have placed their lives and stories into His hands to be a part of the ministry of FLORECE!