ENCOURAGEMENT

When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person. Job 22:29

At dinner with two of my children the other night, I was grousing about my work, which I dearly love.  But COVID has completely changed the character of our ministries and limited us in so many ways.  Many countries where we work are shut down; teams can’t travel; and the needs have shifted.

In prayer the next morning, it occurred to me that I’m the director, and if I’m not happy with operations, I need to look in the mirror.  With repentance, I began praying for fresh inspiration and direction in moving forward, and the ideas began to flow.

At the office I met with one of the leaders to share my thoughts, and he heaped more possibilities onto my clipboard.  When I saw the bishop, he added to my growing thoughts for ministry and gave me permission to do a presentation to the staff.

After we finished Scripture reading and prayers in staff meeting, I reported about the intense hunger our partners around the world are experiencing; about two of our missionaries who are currently suffering with Covid in a Middle Eastern country with limited medical facilities; and about extreme poverty and needs we can only imagine.  I asked staffers to join us in prayer for these dear ones and invited them to go with us when the countries reopened.

After a few announcements, Bishop closed the meeting, and I walked out the door.  Our housekeeper caught up with me, grabbed my hand, and put something in it.  She looked intently into my face and said, “This is for where it’s most needed.”  I automatically thanked her but didn’t look down until I got to the hallway where I saw a hundred dollar bill.  I walked by my assistant’s office, and she said, “You’re not going to believe this,” and showed me a check from our receptionist for one hundred dollars. And, yes, I have thanked these dear ladies who could not comprehend how their generous spirits and sacrifices meant so much more than the gifts themselves.  They were the crowning touch of God’s encouragement.  (And three staff members asked to join mission teams.)

Father, thank you that you’ve placed us in the Church with sisters and brothers whom you use for your purposes. You ARE good–ALL the time. AMEN.

Author: mcurry09

Marthe Curry is director of the World Missions Department of her diocese in Texas. In that capacity, she frequently travels internationally to empower individuals and communities in discipleship and development. She loves to teach, write, and garden. Marthe has a Ph.D. from the University of the Incarnate Word. She has two children, grandchildren, two dogs, and lives in San Antonio. She looks forward to your comments and questions.

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