Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What a Privilege

At a recent staff meeting in the chapel at the Maplewood Center, our executive director covered a passage from Paul's letter to Timothy (1 Timothy 6:3-16). Timothy, a protege of the Apostle Paul, was getting encouragement from his mentor on the importance of contentment in his daily life, especially as he served as a minister to the needs, physical and spiritual, of those around him. These words give us wisdom as we daily strive to follow the example left by men like Paul and Timothy.

From time to time, someone will ask if we "work" for the Mission or are we volunteers. While we do utilize several volunteers (and are extremely grateful for their faithfulness and support), the Mission does need a core group of dedicated staff members. The privilege is the opportunity to "work" for the Mission. Because we do not "work" for the "Mission" so much as work for God's glory and for the help, health, and transformation of our guests. It's a strange and wonderful feeling to "open your envelope" and see that you are getting paid to help people.

It is an awesome responsibility, as well, because while we "work" for our guests, we also "work" for our supporters. As a faith ministry, every dollar that comes to cover operational expenses (utility bills, building maintenance, staffing needs) comes from the compassionate gifts of people desiring to help us help others. Last year, we provided over 90,000 meals and 30,700 nights of shelter to men, women, and children in Michigan's capital area. Yet every meal and every bed was available solely because of a feeling of compassion and an act of generosity by you.

Thank you so much for the privilege of allowing us to serve as your hands, meeting needs, telling the good news, and reaching out to the lost. Thank you for helping us help others!

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