Our theme this summer was on personal relationships developed through the process of hearing someone, actively listening to them, and then receiving them as an individual. Hearing leads to listening; listening leads to receiving; and receiving leads to relationship. It is in relationship that witness and ministry takes place.
This year’s staff “got it” using this process. Their interpersonal relationships were powerful in witness for Christ and in ministry. They also “got-most-of-it” (how’s that for a Bill Black phrase?) in terms of intentional preparation, focus, initiative to accomplish purpose, and evaluation on the program side. (For those of you who know me, you know that I expect us to always do more!) They were a joy to work with.
Joey and Katy Buck and our houseparents contributed greatly to this successful summer. Their careful guidance and generous care made life much easier for all involved. This ministry is blessed with staff and houseparents that make the summer possible.
I would invite all of us to apply these verbs in evaluative action as we read the following comments:
My greatest joy this summer was seeing how God would make something that I thought would be hard –and make it an easy experience. He has done this time and time again this summer. It deepened my trust in Him.
I have grown the most this summer in my relationship with Christ. I really have seen myself grow closer to God. I have seen myself grow as a leader for the future.
I now have a passion to just love on people for Christ’s sake.
The one person I best remember is S____ because I can see his is craving for God’s love –and I got to show him that.
My greatest joy was spending time with the international workers and witnessing to them. I found myself laughing, crying, and praying with them!
My biggest problem is that I don’t want to leave. I love missions. I love SMRM.
And the other good news is that they are all asking “Is it next summer yet?” “When can we come back?” I’ve been told they even have a countdown clock running!
Oh how I miss being a part of the SMRM staff. What an encouragment to see how this ministry is truly impacting others. And I know that this ministry is reaching the peoples of Gatlingburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. It was good to see the July 4th pics – I remember being a flag runner. That was a very challenging year for me physically and spiritually. Thanks Bill and Cindy!