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Monday, March 26, 2012

Same Book, New Chapter

As we were preparing to move, all I knew of God's plans were what He revealed to me at the time. I wasn't sure if we would be doing the same thing we did in Minneapolis or if we would be doing something brand new. God told me that one of the purposes of the move was for Jean to be a resource to other people. That is starting to manifest itself here. She has been helping some friends of ours here in Tucson with their autistic son. He is making strides in how he communicates his needs and doing things differently than before. The purpose is to get people to see the big picture of where their child can and will be. If we look at our present struggles and circumstances through the lens of what it will accomplish in the future, we are empowered and encouraged instead of discouraged and hopeless. We were also able to make connections with the down syndrome community here. I see big possibilities for Jean and her business. She has already been approached by parents who want to help their children read and communicate more effectively.

One of the things that is helping Jean is that she has been hired by a local school district. This district is very cutting edge in how they do inclusion. In fact her job as a special-ed teacher will be to work closely with a team of adults that includes regular-ed teachers as well as para-professionals. They call this position an inclusion specialist. When I look at all the training she has received the last several years, and the lessons she has learned from Joseph and working with other educators, I am excited to see her do her dream job. My hope and prayer is that this opportunity will lead her to greater opportunities to affect long-term change in the disabilities community.

Another thing the Lord showed me was that I would reap the benefits of someone else sowing. And my previous post focuses on a focus on deliverance. Well I have been ministering alongside the Tucson Gospel Rescue Mission. The head chaplain for the men's facility has given me an open door to minister there. I have seen great opportunities to share my heart with the guys. Every week I am there, I see God send me men who are not new to recovery. The mission has done a great job of sowing into them and now God is sending them to me to reap the benefits. We are currently planning a Community of Men group that will focus on helping men who graduate from the recovery program get assimilated back into their community. I will work with the men to use the principles they have learned to change their lifestyles and build a support community or themselves. Right now, I am working with two guys, and my plan is to pour into them and prepare them to lead others into community in the future. So my opportunities are coming in what I know and what I am good at. But along with that is a new found focus on deliverance. The Lord has been showing me what spiritual strongholds are present here and preparing in me the knowledge and approach to battling them. So I will focus on three main components in my ministry here: breaking spiritual strongholds, healing prayer and strategies for living out our deliverance and healing. Stay tuned for more information, and thanks for your support and prayers.

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