Last week, I guess you could say was the pinnacle of this ministry for us so far. We were able to host and attend a law enforcement chaplaincy program, something we've been wrestling with for quite awhile. Eleven folks from around our area joined us, and many more who heard about it mentioned how they too would be interested in the training. God is so good! He knows exactly what we need, when we need it. Let me assure you, cops need folks who want to love on them and be a listening ear. They definitely don't get much of that these days.
Here is a picture of our class hamming it up. A friend of ours, Jim Bontrager, who is a chaplain in Elkhart, Indiana, came down and did the training. We teased him mercilessly about wearing a tie each day to class. So, in good fun, we donned a tie for the last day of class in his honor. :) We salute you, Jim!
On Saturday, Rick and I hosted our third and final law enforcement marriage seminar for our particular area. It was a great day as we saw God work in so many different lives.
I am always amazed at how He meets people where they are. They come wounded and often broken, but they never leave quite the same. It's nothing we do, but everything God does.
I had the opportunity to talk with an officer who had been shot in the line-of-duty. He offered me some great insight into how officers are often treated like machines - in and out of repair and back on the street ever before they really have a chance to heal internally...emotionally...spiritually.
I was also able to encourage a wife struggling to hold it together, and see a couple who months ago, according to them, would have never had anything to do with law enforcement, be so moved as to sponsor a family to attend a yearly officer appreciation day in another state. Isn't God amazing?!
You know, the news is often so one-sided. We read or hear about the "bad" cops that do this or that, but I'm so thankful that Rick and I have been privileged to know the real deals. Not only have we personally lived this life for 27 years, but now we daily get to minister to them, love on them and see how God is transforming their hearts and minds. Did you catch that? We "get to". Sigh. What a blessing.
Just last night as I walked into our weekly first responder Bible study, I looked around amazed at God's handiwork. These men and women are serving on the front lines each and every day and yet here they are, eager and willing to learn about Jesus and His plan for them.
Our online Bible study is also doing well. We've covered the book of John and have now moved on to James, which is quite a challenge to each of us to say the least. Yet, men and women - cops and their spouses, are joining together to learn more of the Word. They're desiring it and it is the Holy Spirit who is fanning the flame.
Who would have thought that God could take the once messed up lives of Rick and me, and turn it into a testimony of His grace?
So let me ask you...what do you believe that He can do with your life, your struggles, your messed up mess? A lot more than you can even imagine! You and I just have to be willing to allow Him room to work. We've got take our hands off and give it all over. It's not easy, especially for a control-freak like me, but I've learned that when I do, He simply brings out beauty from ashes!
Here's one more picture before I leave this blog. It leaves me breathless. Not because of the gorgeous red bud tree or the lush green grass, but because it displays what God can do when we give Him control. He works things together for our good. This picture is a group of folks who love the Lord and have a heart for law enforcement. Only He can take a dream and make it reality!
What's your dream today? Keep giving it to Him. Keep persevering. Keep seeking His will. God will guide you and answer according to His great plan. That's just what He does. :)