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Intentions and Assurance (Ministry Update)

     It has been a while since my last update concerning my family and the ministry here in York. I intended to have an update ready by Christmas. I intended to keep writing articles each week on my blog. I also intended to work a while with Clear View Cleaning. Of course, many of our intentions, no matter how noble, hardly ever come to fruition. Plans can change and expectations can fail. Proverbs 16:9 states, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Far too many times we tell God we will follow Him in faith, but then end up spending each day trying to analyze where we are headed and striving to fully understand the why’s of our walk.
Rather than rest confidently in God’s love and wisdom, we want to question His own motives for us! We are like Israel in the wilderness quibbling over God’s ways. What our your intentions God? Do you really know what’s best for me? Are you angry with me and just stringing me along to punish me? What joy would fill our hearts, If we would just toss aside our carnal intentions and lay ourselves on the altar of His will! No hesitations, no looking back. 
     As already stated, things have not gone the way I intended them. Namely, the job situation. I hoped to work close to thirty hours a week with the cleaning company, so that I would have better time to prepare for church work as well. I hoped to get a loan for housing, seeing that mortgaging can be much cheaper than renting, and in the long run, more beneficial. As time went on though, thirty work hours ended up turning into twenty. Though we had good credit, no bank would take us seriously for a loan, because I was not making enough. Since Stephanie is considered self-employed with VIP Kid, they also wouldn’t factor her income into the equation.
     If we were to make it financially, I would have to look for another job. But what about having time to teach and aid in church events? Isn’t this why we came up here? Won’t people just think we are out of the ministry entirely? I know God led us here. I know His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9) and it is His purposes that will stand (Proverbs 19:21). But this mental knowledge must make its way to the heart and flow forth into a daily walk. Though I applied at many businesses, I did not hear back from any of them. It wasn’t long before one of my coworkers talked to her husband about my need for another job. He went out of his way to take me to his work, introduce me to some of the staff, and set me up with an interview.

    It was official. I would be working at ES3. One of the largest supply chains for groceries in America. What would I be doing? Sanitation. Four days a week, eleven hours a day. Around 90% of those who work in my department speak Spanish. In fact, during my training, communication was limited to whistles, nods, and broken English. Now, one might look at my state and say, “Wow, way to go Josh. You’re getting paid almost half of what you used to make. You’re working a secular job. You’re communication is limited to those who work with you. Was it worth the move? Why are you here?”
     Why? Because, “...God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2Corinthians 4:6).” There are over 1300 employees at ES3. I have had to ask the Lord to open my eyes and see the workplace for what it is: a mission field. Fleeting fears and temporal comforts tend to steer our hearts away from assurance and joy in God’s plans. I must take what is given and walk in faithfulness. I am actually thrilled to know that there are many Spanish speaking coworkers, because it forces me to familiarize myself with a language that I should have learned a long time ago. Who knows what I will learn or what God has in store! May we all learn to, “Commit (our) way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass! (Psalms 37:5).”

    In the past few weeks, there have been many visitors at Good News. I have just started teaching the Teens in Sunday School and Stephanie and I have already aided in youth work, leading music, event preparation and more. There is such a need for the light of the gospel here in York, but I am done trying to second guess things. I realize that I have needed to be humbled and have needed to be strengthened in faith. So come what may, I must trust that God is ultimately molding me in the image of Christ. To be more like Christ is far greater than any “good intentions” I may try to hold onto.


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