Mr. Don was an alcoholic.
He did a lot of things he now wishes he hadn’t. AA meetings were attended but an alcoholic he remained.
Until he understood the grace of God — the forgiveness, the setting him free of sin and guilt — that comes through Jesus Christ.
And Mr. Don was changed.
Now, in his seventies, with wrinkled face & bent fingers, Mr. Don is a beautiful reminder to me of God’s grace.
He really gets it.
He talks about it so much and with such passion and complete understanding and clarity that I’ve begun to call him Mr. Grace (at least in my mind.) And I get to see him three mornings a week at the River Center during our worship/prayer/Bible study time we call Moravian Mornings.
That little group is an eclectic blend of believers from all flavors of backgrounds who have an authentic unity and love for one another. I get to facilitate the Bible study discussion each Monday; I’m learning to do that better and better. One of the goals is to keep the leading of the worship, prayer, and Bible time as simple as possible…so anyone can feel like they can do it. And it works! The leader whose place I took is much better than me but he led in a way that made me comfortable trying. What a great way to lead a gathering of believers…no bells, no whistles, no teacher or musician who is so phenomenal that the rest of us feel we will never be good enough to do anything but watch them do what they do so well. Keeping it real, down to earth, humble.
The rest of my time at the River Center is going well. I’ve been learning heavily the nuts and bolts of nonprofit ministry: lots of meetings, trainings, grant writing, discussion of why they do things the way they do. I’m also learning to look outside my little world and see what other churches/organizations are doing to help people and see how we can help one another. I’ll be hosting a mission team next month and connecting them with a couple of churches and a homeless shelter where they can help.
Having been so involved in the meetings and such at the River Center, I’ve been wanting to spend more time face-to-face with the people we serve. This week, I got to meet a homeless family with trouble on several levels. We gave advice, prayed with them, and they have some decisions to make. Hopefully, after I check with them on Monday, I’ll have a more complete story to tell. I’m praying God uses us, the situation, something, to help this family know Him and His provision.
I had thought that being here in Colorado might give me temporary amnesia to the fact that God has called us to east Tennessee. I thought I would get wrapped up in River Center goings-on and fall in love with the Rockies. But, to my surprise, I haven’t. As wonderful as the folks are here and as beautiful as the scenery, I haven’t forgotten the call to Appalachia. As a matter of fact, Lee, my mentor at the River Center, also has it forefront in his mind. He consistently reminds me that “when you get to Tennessee” or “when your team does such and such in Appalachia…”
I have more thoughts and feelings on that move and what I think God is doing to prepare us, but that’s for another blog or email, lest this one become a novel.
Our Father continues to provide for us, much in the same pattern as He did in south Louisiana. See, our income is 1/4 gifts (from some of you!) and 1/4 River Center salary; for the other 1/2 we ask God to provide work. So far, He has provided seven piano students who are doing wonderfully. And, in similar fashion to how He provided for us during The Waiting Years, He provided me
with good-paying work with great employers: I’m working two days a week for our landlords next door. The boys get to help and learn to work. Short commute saves on gas. Flexible schedule. Making more than I would anywhere else part-time. Doesn’t that sound like a “God Special”?
We continue to ask Him to provide the next work when I’m done next-door; and He will give it when it’s time.
Laura and the kids are doing well. We have settled in to some degree and now are trying to plan how to get to the next level. It’s finally hot enough here (during the middle of the day) for the kids to swim…for a few minutes. The water is so cold they come out shivering but smiling. We are all 3 shades darker since we’ve been walking around closer to the sun (elevation is about 5400 feet).
So, there’s a little update. A little slice o’ life.
We hope you and your families are enjoying the summer together.
Davy (& Laura & the FunderTans)