Don't Give Up!
“I spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious
people who walk in the wrong path, following
their own thoughts.”        
  Isaiah 65:2

Have you ever felt like all of your ministry endeavors lead to nothing but exhaustion and disappointment? As the director for a local outreach mission for over 30 years, and a full-time volunteer, I can attest to the fact that opportunities to take a stroll down Discouragement Lane can be frequent. The problem with taking that detour is the easy access you will have to Self Pity Street. It can happen quickly. You give and give and see no fruit.... like a farmer who plants a crop that he never gets to harvest. You begin to question your effectiveness or even become embittered at those you are helping almost as if they owed you the gratitude you deserve. While pointing a finger at the entitled and ungrateful, and licking the wounds we incur in the line of duty, we fail to see the four fingers pointing back at us. The Savior walked in our shoes before we did! He gave and gave and was scorned, rejected and taken for granted by the very ones He came to save. Remember the story of the 10 lepers in Luke 17? Only one came back to thank Him. Our statistics have been similar. Very few take the time to stop and realize where they would be without the help of faithful servants. Is it wrong to expect individuals to be grateful? It depends upon our expectations for service. There is nothing wrong with teaching others to be thankful but when we feel entitled to those thank yous and when they become the fuel we need to continue in service, we have misaligned the appropriate posture for true volunteerism. The above passage reflects the amazing tenacity of our Savior's heart. All day long is one thing.. but all day long to a rebellious people who do their own thing is entirely something else, isn't it? It sounds impossible and entirely unreasonable. I have come to appreciate this path. The impossible and unreasonable becomes a path well traveled for the seasoned saint. It keeps us depending upon Him. The rebellious become our mission, at times, and we suddenly realize that our stretched out hands, though weary and tired, are being held up by His almighty arms. We stop looking for appreciation and we start appreciating the lessons we are learning along the way.

God's Word Does Not Return Void...

We received a call the other day from a former resident of our mission. His wife had committed suicide several years earlier and he attributes the lessons he learned while housed in our program to have held him up during this difficult trial. Like the one leper, he stopped and went back to thank the ones who brought him healing. It brought tears to our eyes and a smile to our face. Though our hearts were grieved at this great loss, we were thankful to have a small part in preparing this man for a tragic situation. Twelve years after sowing seed into this individual, we discovered a crop. You may not discover all the crops you have on this side of heaven, but always know that God is the God of opportunity and he needs you and I to present those opportunities to those around us. Stretch your hands out, Beloved! Don't give up! The season of harvesting is sure to arrive.

Tribute to Our Volunteers Cont.


We have an amazing base of supporters here at Jesus Cares Ministries. Our open communication regarding the work we do for others, and the training tools that God has made available to us have been key components contributing to the flourishing of this area of our mission. I was asked to write the above article by another valley ministry whose volunteers were becoming disappointed at the lack of response from the residents of their program. It is so important to have adequate training for our volunteers. Many individuals who fill out applications never make it to the front lines!

We Begin in Jerusalem...

One of the most important criteria for a serious applicant is a willingness to minister in Jerusalem. That is where Jesus began. That is where our Lord was also scorned and rejected and interrogated and alienated. We learn vital lessons in Jerusalem. We learn that serving others is not for the feeble of heart. I might get a call from time to time from a volunteer who was scheduled to come help in some way. They might say, “My grandson is sick and my daughter in law needs me.” That, believe it or not, is music to my ears. I am assured that the heart of my volunteers beats faithfully for the family that God placed around them. I am also assured that whatever needed to get done that day will eventually get done. We are extremely grateful to those the Lord has sent to serve alongside of this ministry.


We honor our volunteers who consistently make themselves available to their own families!
Jesus Cares