Practice what you preach

“Practice what you preach”. A common expression and one I should abide by.

I’ve seen it many times in ministry where people are over burdened because they are staying in positions that they are no longer meant to be in. It is easy to tell these people things like: ” Maybe you need to step out before God will bring another in”; “It’s God’s ministry. He must take care of it”; and “Perhaps the project has served its season.”

Sigh. Deep breath. Sigh.

Practice what you preach, Shannon.

I have been involved with Redefined Ministries International before its birth. I was there in the dreaming, the planning, and the actualisation. I visited the people of Mahagi Territory, and feel in love with them. It is a second home. The Congo makes my spirit soar.

Women enjoying each other's company. What a welcome I received from the women of Jalasiga, DRC!

Women enjoying each other’s company. What a welcome I received from the women of Jalasiga, DRC!

When we were still dreaming about how to meet the needs in our Congo community, I committed for 5 years. In this time we have seen God work miracles and have achieved more than we could have hoped for. The ministry is going strong and is entering into a new and exciting season. Yet for the last 6 months, as the 5 year period draws to an end, I’ve felt restless. I’ve been pestering God about whether I will be committing for another season or handing over the reigns.  I’ve thrown out “fleeces” (see Judges 6:36-40), with not much reply. Now at last I feel the answer.

I’ve sought a go ahead to stay with the ministry, but have heard nothing to continue. I wanted to hear God say “stay”, but all my questions have come back with the answer “go”.

There’s been a fair amount of stress, fear, and apprehension over the decision because I do not want to let the team down. I do most of the administration work for Redefined, so there will be a huge gap left when I leave. However, it is not for me to fill it, but for God. Please keep this need in your prayers. Please also let me know if God lays it on your heart to step in, even if only in a small way.

It has been a relief to come to this decision. I would have been willing to continue in the role; it isn’t that much of my work, but I think that makes it all the more tempting to continue. Yet I feel God is bringing me into a season to invest at home, and I must be obedient. There is a lot of need in South Africa. Well, let’s face it: in this fallen world, there is need in every country. God has His reasons, and I’m not called to ask: “why?”,  or to figure out His purposes, but respond with: “yes, Lord”.

So the end of the matter is that I will stay with the ministry for another 3-4 months to help with transition. During this time, I will trust Him to either bring people in to fill my shoes, or show us how to move the Congo Project in a different direction. Please also pray that those still in the ministry will not try and take on my workload as they are already working to their capacity.

(I’ll continue to help with networking so feel free to contact me about the ministry after this time frame – I’m talking about stepping out of my formal role as Administrative Director).

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