I have not done a Thankful Thursday post in ages and I meant this as one since today is Thursday. But when I went to the site and saw that it had a theme, I decided to make this an ordinary post. This is kind of an update on some aspects of my life (the ministry part of it) for the past 7 months. Years ago in Nigeria, the general impression about ministry was that only those who were afraid of hard work went in for that. Amazing really for anyone who is familiar with ministry would know that it is HARD work, and often thankless work. It’s harder because you do not see any physical reward for your labour – not in salary or even bonuses or …anything. Sometimes, not even in the lives of those you are working with. Still, sometimes, often rarely but once in a while, there is that silver lining which is a life that has been touched by your ministry. The encouragement garnered from such a life can last years in the ministry. This encouragement a lot of missions people would tell you, makes it all worthwhile.
That aside, I have discovered that a lot of missionaries suffer from burnout. They get to a stage where they just go through the motions, one day at a time. They feel bitterly discouraged and seem to be losing touch with the reason why they are on the mission field in the first place. Some even begin to question their call and their faith. It does not mean that they are backsliding; it just means that it’s time for an extended furlough. However, this usually happens after years on the mission field. I say ‘usually’ because I have been in full time active ministry less than a year and I think I can already detect the signs of burnout. I wake up each day, tired. I am feeling emotionally drawn. Nevertheless, there’s always so much to thank God for and counting my blessings helps me regain strength.
I want to thank God for the mentoring programme I started with some teenage girls. They seem to be responding so well. We meet once a week on Fridays at my house. Each Friday, they are there even before it’s time, eager to learn and to share. Although this really tasks me mentally as well as emotionally (drawing up study outlines takes a lot of work), seeing the differences in these young women, they way they seem to walk a little taller, their heads a little higher up is reward enough for me.
I wrote sometime about two teenagers ages 15 & 16 who fancied themselves in love. I have been talking with them over the weeks and though the girl seems to be beyond my limited expertise, the boy is showing signs of improvement. I took him back to school and had him enrolled…I paid my cousin to take them extra lessons (this also serves to keep said cousin out of trouble) and things are going quite well. I know this does not really have anything to do with me per se, it is God who works and wills in me to do anything and I am extremely grateful.
The ministry I’m working with runs a boarding secondary school for children of missionaries (MKs), especially those who are in the frontier and do not have the ability to homeschool. Anyway, I’m helping out with the choirs there (junior and senior choirs) and it has been nice especially getting to know these kids. Of course that means my whole weekend is taken up and I have little or no me time. But I have seen the hand of God in their lives and in mine too…there is so much to learn from young children.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end
They are new every morning
Great is thy faithfulness O Lord