Time doesn’t always make things easier… as time passes, as camp is one day closer to the end, I’m just as heart-wrenched as yesterday. As much as I don’t like it, I’m counting this joy. As I said yesterday, this camp is better off without me at it and I thank God for that fact.
I discovered my passion for disability ministry, fostered that passion, and communicated that passion with anyone that would listen. God, as he does so often, laid that same passion on the heart of Steve Dirks, the director of Lone Tree Christian Camp, by putting a special needs camper at his camp for a week. Two weeks later Steve and I talked about how this camp could work and dreamed God-sized dreams.
After lots of planning and vision sharing and a little more planning the camp was set to take place in July of 2014. After that it was fundraisers, recruitment, and finding the right people to serve as well as the right people to be served. 9 months before camp I could see the whole thing coming together more beautifully and wonderfully than I could have ever hoped or imagined. My wife started organizing things with so many others, it was plain that God was involved in this camp. As plans ramped up, things got more organized, and camp was quickly becoming a reality I noticed one thing was missing. Me.
I was not necessary. This was happening without me. Not to say I didn’t contribute here and there, wherever I was needed. The problem, I wasn’t needed much. I had done, by accident, what every ministry leader says is their goal. I had worked myself out of a job. I had given my God-inspired dream away. I hadn’t thrown it away, but given it away. I had passed the baton and the people who took it were running faster than I ever could.
God knew that I would not do as good of a job as the people leading this camp. He knew I would have much to do with Edwin gone all summer and a big A/V project to help with. I didn’t know these things but God did. I take great joy in the fact that this camp is better without me than it would have been with me.
This is one of the hard parts of ministry. Ministry becomes misery when you give it away despite the fact you really want to keep it. I keep telling myself that this is the goal. I understand, partially, that giving away ministry is the goal. I understand it is better without me there than with me. Despite my understanding, I have a hard time with it. If this situation hurts this bad, how much worse did it hurt for the Apostle Paul to leave the cities where he traveled. I can’t imagine that.
I only know what I feel. I know that despite my sufferings great examples of God’s love are being shown this week. And though my part in this week’s camp was small I am happy that I was able to participate in fulfilling the Luke 14:15-24 mandate. We are one in Christ. When one of us succeeds in something we all succeed and the kingdom is increased. So, I praise God for the win this week down in Capitan, NM.