Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Getting To Work

I have never been this way before.  And I am pretty sure that the path that will take me there is going to occupy spaces of adversity, surprise, challenge, reward, and all the other imaginable elements that are normally part of a new adventure.

A favorite blogger of mine wrote: Nothing good gets started without getting to work.

It was the getting started that took me a couple of years.  The idea was birthed and bathed and pushed on me by the first follower of Christ I mentored ... way back in the early 1970's ... a forever friend ... a believer in what could be done ... if I would just get to work.

And, now that the start has been made I am anticipating the promise made by that same blogger who also wrote: there's a lot of happiness that depends on being brave enough to keep working when it'd be easier to quit.

For sure ... it would have been easier to quit.  And, no one would have been the wiser.

I can almost reach the door of 70 years of age.  Why ... when I was a child I was pretty sure that 65 was old and the threshold of retirement.  Who would blame me?  Who would shame me?

It would have been easier to quit.  Call it a day.  Find my place of rest in the sun.

But, as God would have it, that was not the climate at my recent annual appointment with face to face accountability. Surrounded by some of the most genuine friends ... those with courage to inflict wounds that will heal ... a guy could have, the atmosphere was one filled with encouragement for me to get to work.  The NGM Board of Directors embraced my plan to keep working ... for the next 10 years.  They endorsed me and told be to be brave enough to keep working.

And so ... I do.

With that ten year plan squeezed tightly between the fingers of one hand and a loose grip on the wheel of an adventure called One Step between the other, I prepare to leave the United States for more than six months back in the Pearl of Africa.

Will it be "successful?"  I will keep working ... keep attempting to enjoy the pleasure of doing what I think God made me to do.  Imperfect,  but still committed and somehow competent to influence and impact the next generation in a small and mostly unnoticed corner of the earth ... I've already put my feet to the path.  Anticipation growing.  Anxiety wanting to be my traveling companion.

Seven young Americans will make the journey with me, along with my wife and NGM associates. Hopefully at least seven young Africans will join us on September 19th as we officially kick off the ONE STEP mentoring adventure.

The two year old dream, threatened by apprehension, has dissolved into reality.  Travel plans have been made and plane tickets have been purchased to confirm them.

ONE STEP is now more than an idea.  It is a reality.  My prayer is that it is much more than a good idea.  I desperately pray that it is a God idea.

ONE STEP is a 12 week residential mentoring program that will operate from the center of my compound in Jinja, Uganda.  It commences on September 19th.  Africans and Americans, living together in community, committed to take one step together on a journey comprised of millions of other steps.

Hopefully others ... who will not inhale and exhale with us on our every move forward down this path ... will assist the nationals in Uganda to travel with us, by making a financial contribution toward their tuition.  $450 is a LOT of money in a developed nation.  But, in a Third World Nation it could be described as a fortune.  Through the donations of friends of Next Generation Ministries we may be able to stimulate the faith of a few more nationals to enroll in the ONE STEP course.  We hope to double the size of the scholarship (making it two thirds of the cost) being offered, with the help of donors.

$3,000 in donations would help us subsidize the enrollment of more than 7 nationals.  Would you help us keep working?  Send any amount to Next Generation Ministries, 29940 South Dhooghe Road, Colton, OR 97017.  Please note that it is for ONE STEP Scholarships.

A journey of 10,000 miles begins with ONE STEP.  Thanks for helping a few young Ugandans get started on this step in their journey.

[My grateful thanks to Ann Voskamp's recent blog that provided a small pat on the back and a push forward in my effort to stay the course and keep working.]

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