The "Maombi Effect"
You see, three years ago I met my young friend, Maombi. He is from the Congo and lives in Clarkston. Our students from the Proskuneo Worship Institute were doing outreach in his apartment complex and that is where I met him. He came up to me and said “I will miss you when you go.” I didn’t understand at the time. We had just met and this seemed like such an odd thing to say. But as I sat there watching, God spoke to my heart and it became clear.
In a town like Clarkston, everything is rather transitory. People come and go. Each year refugees are brought in from around the world. They work hard to make a new life in a new land and, as soon as they are able, they move out of Clarkston to a “better” location.
Ministry is also a little transient in nature. There are ministries that have deep roots and make powerful and lasting impact on the community. But there is also a lot of ministry that is fleeting. Teams come in for a weekend or a week and then they are gone. These teams are often a great help as they bring much-needed services to an under-served population. Things like dental care, and medical check-ups, and honest tax preparation are greatly appreciated. But to build relationship and discipleship, you must remain. It was in the weeks that followed my encounter with Maombi that God began to move my heart toward Clarkston with a vow that I was in it for the long-haul, whatever that meant.
Relationship Is Long-Term
The other day I was reflecting on where I am in relation to where I have been. In January I sat at the Karen New Year celebration and realized that it was my third. The first year I walked in, I was shaking. I had been invited by one young man who had been attending the Proskuneo School of the Arts (PSOTA). This year I had been invited by at least four young friends and was greeted by many more as I walked through the doors. We now know each other by name because we live and do life together in the same small town.
I am currently tutoring a young man I met in the fall of 2012. I have walked alongside him as he has walked with God. I have chased after him in prayer as he has walked away from God. And three years later I get to sit across the table from him declaring together the things that God is doing in his life. It takes time.
Growing A Ministry Doesn’t Happen Overnight
In 2011 we walked the halls at Chestnut Grove Baptist Church during PWI. We were envisioning a day when we might be able to expand PWI. We were dreaming about opening a music school in Clarkston. In 2012 PSOTA opened its doors. Three years later we are serving over 120 students each week. And this year, 2015, I am joining the staff of Proskuneo Ministries as the full-time director for the Proskuneo Worship Institute. We are preparing to launch PWI 180 – an internship/training program that will operate year-round.
It has taken three to four years to build relationships, to get the foundations laid, and to do the work to bring us to this point. I have already been doing it. I am already in it long-term. And rather than doing a speedy fundraising campaign, I am asking for people to partner with me in the same kind of commitment.
- 30 people/families
- $50 per month
- One year commitment
Would you consider this opportunity? I am willing to be the hands and feet in the trenches but I need partners who will hand me the shovel. If you are willing, would you please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the CONTACT button above and let me know you are on the team!
For those of you who already support me, can you think of one person in your life who might have a heart for supporting the work in Clarkston? Would you share my story?
Thank you for taking the time to read and pray. I am blessed by you.