Sunday, January 16, 2011

To Do List

Shelby Felton will begin her stint January 29 as Red Page Ministries’ first intern. Shelby will serve in Lugoj, Romania as Ministry Coordinator during which time she will assist with mission trip coordination, the development of an after-school program, creating family plans and case studies, orphan team development, and ministry communication. Please add Shelby to your prayer list. Watch Facebook, Twitter, and our website for weekly updates from Shelby. I wanted to post her first blog on my personal blog to give her some additional exposure. She will be a wonderful addition to our team. We are proud to have you Shelby. Aspire to new heights – Jon.

I love to make to-do lists, and even more so to cross off the tasks when done, thus building a nice record of my accomplishments. But what am I really accomplishing? While the daily or weekly lists are full of things that "need" to be done, most of the items center around household chores and errands to run. We all know there is more to life than floors to clean, groceries to buy, oil to be changed and tires rotated. Are the significant things of eternal value anywhere on the list? I admit that my list comes up shy at times, but I am reminded that there is a master list, created by the Master Himself.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

This verse is becoming more and more evident to me every day. It is with a future focus that my mind tries to conceive this concept, and struggles, but it is with hindsight that I find I truly comprehend.

When I was 17 years old God ignited a spark in my heart for missions and reaching the nations. That spark grew into a flame, but I couldn't wrap my mind around the vocational missionary concept, so after college I pursued a traditional marketplace career and filled my vacation time with mission trips and ministry activities. This seemed to be a pretty good alternative, but deep inside I wondered if I "missed" my calling. Well, I don't think I missed it; I just took the long way around. And God has used every experience up to this point to teach me, grow me, and shape me for what is now before me. And I am more aware than ever, that I am not the one making the to-do list.

Most people aren't all that happy with the recession we've recently experienced, but for me it was a catalyst. It got me off the outside track, that long-way-around path. I don't know that I would have ever mustered the guts to leave the so called "security" of my job with a steady paycheck, benefits, etc., but God worked it out through the vehicle of "workforce reduction". Along with many others I lost my job, but more than that I was released ... yes, released to pursue that calling deep within.

I still don't know how it is all going to work, and again I'm sure it will be in hindsight that I see what God has prepared for my future. I didn't know Romania was on my to-do list, let alone a 6 month assignment. My most recent mission trip had been to Venezuela and I absolutely loved it. I thought for sure that was where I'd be headed again for my 2011 mission trip.

As I sought God for my next steps, He began to weave in Romania. As a member of the Missions Committee at my church I felt compelled to attend an informational meeting in early October for an upcoming trip to Romania that was planned for Summer 2011. And only a few weeks after that the Romania partnership between FBC Euless and Red Page Ministries was again brought front and center. Within this new partnership was an opportunity for someone from my church to serve six months in Romania in an effort to plant seeds and pave the way for our summer trip. At the announcement of this significantly longer opportunity my heart leapt, literally! And as the details were further revealed I saw it as a perfect fit; my passion and my abilities were about to collide. And before I knew it, God had pulled it all together and confirmed this was the next step for me.

As a Susani based Ministry Coordinator for Red Page, I will draw on skills cultivated throughout my career as well as my experiences in youth ministry and on international mission trips. I am looking forward to working with Ovidiu and Adina Patrick, founders of the House of Joy, to invest in the lives of the children and families of Susani and the surrounding areas as they strive to end rural poverty in the 30 plus villages within their reach.

Also on the to-do list is to establish an after school program where I can offer free English lessons, build relationships with a local orphanage in hope of sharing the love of Christ through Vacation Bible School programs hosted by short term mission teams, and helping to facilitate future phases of the House of Joy construction project.

I am looking forward to accomplishing the things God has placed on my to-do list. How about you? Have you asked God lately what it is He would have you to do? We’ve got a place for you at Red Page. Hope you will join us.

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