What's A Life Worth?

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“GNI seeks to be a conduit of the Grace and Truth of Jesus Christ.” gracenetworkintl.org

TSH and GNI

Over the past 18 months I have discovered it has not been very easy for some to understand the difference between Grace Network International (GNI) and The Shepherd’s House (TSH). “Who pays you? Who runs the rescue mission? How is the rescue mission supported?” Here is a brief comparison of the two organizations:

 

TSH

  • Founded in 2006
  • Rescue Mission in Bend, OR
  • mergency Services + Long-Term Discipleship & Habilitation program
  • Individual donors primarily from within Central Oregon supporting the ministry
  • Facility managed by GNI missionaries
  • Serving Central Oregon through the Grace & Truth of Jesus Christ
 

GNI

  • Founded in 1987
  • No single physical location
  • Training, teaching, consulting with other rescue missions nationally & internationally
  • Individual donors throughout the world supporting individual missionaries
  • Curt Floski, Cash Lowe, Brian Gatley
  • Partnering with others in creating safe and healing environments where the Grace & Truth of Jesus Christ flows freely

WHAT’S A LIFE WORTH?

Over the years, my life has typically been defined by what I have done and/or accomplished. I am “task-oriented” and the more tasks I accomplish during the day the more successful I feel. However, I have been learning recently that this may not be an accurate perspective of who I am or even why I am.

As I sit in a meeting with John, now 38, he shares, “my father committed suicide when I was 14.” He continued, “and since that time, I have had to take care of myself and no one [adult or authority figure] has taken the time to invest in me.”  FLASH... A different meeting with a potential donor the week before, “What does TSH need the most?” which is quickly qualified “...besides money.”

FLASH... Back to the meeting with John. There are several ways to respond to John’s statement: 1) “Oh, I am so sorry.” while thinking ‘that’s the past and there’s not much we can do about it now. Let’s continue to move forward with a positive attitude.’ Or 2) “Oh, I am so sorry. I will be praying for you and if there is anything I can do for you, let me know. God is in control and if you just seek Him, He will continue to provide for you.” Or 3) This is a hurting and broken young man who needs someone to invest in his life...just as God invested in me.

FLASH... A sermon on the radio... “the only two eternal investments is a person’s soul and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

FLASH... Back to the meeting with a potential donor... What does TSH need the most? TSH needs “TIME WITH.” Key TSH staff need time with the people we serve; time with the people who support us; time with staff; time with the community at large; time with church leaders; time with family at home; and time with God alone.

FLASH... Back to the radio... “Where will you invest your time? Will you invest in the things that last or in the things that will burn, be stolen or blow away?”  FLASH... Back to the meeting with John...”How about if we get together for coffee and talk. I don’t have any answers, but I can listen and be a friend.”

FLASH... Back to the meeting with a potential donor... “How do you get time with?” Answer: additional support staff; additional program staff; additional office space for discipleship; additional technology for increased efficiency and productivity, etc.

FLASH... Back to John... “I love you John and am willing to walk authentically with you and be your friend as we navigate life together and discover how to live out of who God says we are.”

The next several months will be busy as our Executive Director takes some time with his family as his wife goes into surgery to hopefully remove the cancer that is currently attacking her body. The Lord appears to be providing some people to come alongside us as we continue to manage the activities of The Shepherd’s House and continue to work with other rescue missions throughout the country through Grace Network International. We don’t know today how God will provide for the needs of these people, but we continue to walk by faith, trusting our Eternal Father.

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Thank you for your prayers and thank you for your support.

P.S. Personally, through the prompting of a trip to urgent care for me last month, Beth and I have committed to walking one hour per day each day. I do, however, have “a heart of a 30 year old” per a Coronary Calcium Scan that was done at the same time. Thank you Jesus and thank you for your prayers.