I know the church belongs to God, but since I’m invested in it, I can’t help but have desires for what I hope would happen. And God has accomplished a few of those desires! It doesn’t happen immediately in my timing, but God’s time is always the right time. Here are some examples of what God has done for me.
1. New water fountains on our campus.
I know this seems like a small detail, but when I first asked for them, the response was not enthusiastic. Now, several years later, we have new water fountains! Recently a children’s pastor from a nearby church came to visit. I showed him our new water refill fountain. “This is what I want for our church! How did you get this done?” he asked. Very slowly, I told him.
In God’s time, miracles do happen. And it wasn’t anything I did to make it happen. I know this sounds crazy, but this water fountain is to me a symbol that God is at work, but in his time and in his way.
2. A Pastor for family ministry.
When I was interviewing for my position, I told the committee my passion was parenting. The church sees a strong Children Ministry as the foundation for the growth of the church. But without intentional help for parents, Children Ministry can only go so far. Since then, I’ve read up on family ministry, attended a couple of conferences, and did a few things in our children’s department to forward Family Ministry. But honestly, I didn’t get very far. While the staff was supportive, there was not a sense of movement towards Family Ministry. I didn’t know how to move it, either.
Now, a few years later, intergenerational ministry is in our vision statement, and we called a Family Pastor on staff! And not only that, he and I see eye-to-eye on almost everything. He is doing a much better job than I could’ve imagined or could’ve done myself. He says he is here to accomplish all my dreams. And it’s true – God is giving me my desires.
3. A graphic designer on staff.
I want the Children Ministry materials to look good! Good design is effective communication, not distracting to the message. I am not artistic, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. In the past, my daughter would do the design stuff I needed for church, but there was a limit to what she could do.
And now, we have a part-time designer on staff! That just doesn’t happen in a Chinese church! Not only that, we’ve been hoping for this exact person to become available. God opened what I thought was an impossible door to crack.
4. Little to no white hairs.
When I first came on staff, I was 52. I saw a few white hairs starting to show. My sisters started coloring their hair in their 40′s. I didn’t want to color my hair, so I asked God to hold back the white hairs for a couple of years so I don’t look so old to the kids. Eight years later, I still only have a few white hairs. I saw a few more coming in just recently, but I’m okay with it.
God already gave me more years than I have ever expected. People are amazed that I’ve never colored my hair. It’s a miracle and it’s God’s grace to me. I hadn’t thought of this until recently, when I happened to have a conversation with someone and explained to them why I didn’t need to color my hair. That reminder prompted this post.
I give glory to God for all that He’s done. When I’m tired, I think back on these and more, and am grateful and humbled to be here today.