Years ago, I was told that if you to want be in the will of the Lord, see the needs around you and meet them. We must certainly be following the guidance of the Holy Spirit in discerning where to invest our efforts, but our calling is to be His heart and hands to those around us. That’s how our Father works- He changes all hearts in the process. I’ve grown far more by loving others than in talking about loving others.
As I look back at my walk with the Lord, I can see that the small and large testimonies that I share of the greatness of God on a personal or ministry level were all preceded by prayer and/or considerate study and obedience. He wants to know that we care enough about His desires and less of our own before He fulfills them. He so desires to have a dynamic and powerful relationship with us, and is always placing opportunities before us, we just need to see them, small or large. He can do amazing things with us, but are we taking the time to listen and obey His will?
I would like to share a burden that I have been taking before the Lord for the past couple of years. My hope is that you’ll join us in prayer. A Ray of Hope operates a men’s shelter, a women’s shelter (Peggy’s House), A Ray of Hope Thrift and a detox shelter in Helmville, MT. These facilities work in good harmony in providing housing, ministry and an outlet for work and income for A Ray of Hope, but I see an area of need that we are not able to meet with our existing facilities. Housing families is a challenge for us. There are times where we split a family up with the husband and older boys at the men’s shelter and the mother and daughters at the women’s shelter. We’ve also had single mothers with older sons that are just short of adulthood. The son is really too old to live in the women’s shelter and he’s too young to send over to the men’s shelter. We are asking the Lord for direction and provision in opening up housing for families to not be separated. Not only will this keep families together, but it will allow them to stay longer which can be critical in their recovery. Families that are separated can be overly motivated to move out just to be reunited with each other. Whereas if they had a small apartment, and were together, the living arrangement is much more conducive to staying longer and obtaining the recovery and training that is needed. Remaining together as a family is critical to reaching these goals.
We’ve been praying for a couple of years for the Lord to provide direction. We’ve been putting aside money as the Lord has allowed and will continue to do so in an effort to work in this direction. We do see a need and we sense the leading of the Lord, but we are at that place where we are waiting for the Lord to connect the vision with the reality of a specific property for housing. Our hope is to find acreage out of town that would also be suitable for providing work opportunity for our guests. Work and industry is critical for those in recovery. Each person who comes to A Ray of Hope has various skills and gifts that they desire to use in getting back on their feet and giving back to A Ray of Hope and helping others. Whether that be growing and gardening, mechanic or construction work or computer, business and office work, providing a safe living, working and nurturing environment is instrumental in rebuilding lives and families.
Sixteen years ago our family bought acreage and it has provided an endless supply of industry and growth for Holly, I and the kids. There is no shortage of learning and working for this tired family. But this work gives good purpose to your day and good sleep to your night and plenty of opportunity to work and worship side by side together.
I really see the Lord doing a great work in the hearts of those staying at A Ray of Hope and those serving A Ray of Hope; I wouldn’t serve here if I didn’t believe in what I was seeing. Please pray for the Lord to guide us into the right property or let me know if you know of a property that might be a good fit for our vision. Please pray for the Lord to guide us as we seek to share His glory to a needy and searching world.
Thank you, Dave
P.S: I baptized 5 guests and Chris and Rachelle Hernandez (the Peggy’s House leaders) a couple of weeks ago. The Lord is changing hearts (mine included) through this ministry. It’s exciting to see our guests, managers and friends seeking the Lord in studying His Word and seeking His heart. He is certainly worth pouring your life into!