In order to grow my abilities and understanding of how best to be the leader that God has called, and is calling, for me to be, and with Abogar’s Board of Directors’ encouragement and approval, I have submitted myself to an intensive two-month discipleship training program with an amazing organization called Kingdom Building Ministries! Today marks the completion of the first two full weeks, and there is so much that has already happened in me, to me, and hopefully through me in my time here. I could give story after story of the incredible things that are happening, but there is just one personal one I will share here and now.
As part of the training process, the 28 member team that I am a part of recently had to take part in an intense and extreme team building challenge. Kingdom Building Ministries really emphasizes the importance of trusting our schedules and agenda to them, and so we are not told much of anything beforehand. To protect their program, I will not disclose here the details of the challenge, except to say that it was a multi-day challenge requiring survival skills and team unity to complete it successfully. Praise God for His faithful presence as we all went through the challenge successfully together!
On the bus ride back from the challenge, I got to sit next to a new friend. We were chatting in the back of the bus, and as our conversation progressed I found myself in a flood of tears. The challenge, though a few times had frustrated me, had never brought me to tears, but just this conversation with my friend there on the bus opened the flood gates. So what upset me so much? My friend and I had begun discussing my fear of failure. She misunderstood my comments to mean that I was fearful of not being good enough for God and failing Him. I know though that my salvation and relationship with God is not hinged on my ability to earn it. I proceeded to address the misunderstanding by sharing more about my fear of failure… and that what caused my eyes to gush forward in rivers of little droplets pouring out over my cheeks was actually in regards to God’s calling on my life.
So a bit of a self-disclosure; I am not really a logistical, administrative, nor detail oriented individual. I am very visionary, with a huge mouth and a huge heart! God has given me great depths of compassion and love for people, all people, but even more focused upon children, especially children without families, home, or education. As my friend and I sat on the bus chatting, I found myself wondering how many people think I, Jesse, have some ego to need to start an organization or be ‘in charge’ of it. Truth be told, I have never wanted to start up an organization and don’t seek to be known. However, God has specifically called me to do this thing, without reliance on myself and my own abilities, trusting Him that He who began a good work will bring it to completion. He demands obedience from my life, whether I like where/how I am called or not.
So these tears… Where did they come from and why? My tears poured forth as my heart was wrenched thinking of the more than 10.2 million children in Latin America alone who are truly orphaned, and the more than 40 million children there who are homeless and living in the streets! God has placed a deep love within me for these children, and matched that with a very hard calling! It’s NOT easy! Abandoning the pursuit that this world teaches us that I should have… finances, job security, insurance, a big home, etc. etc… to pursue God’s heart that these children may know Him, and also have an opportunity to have Christ-centered homes, family, and education is NOT an easy call. As a broken human, far from perfect, and with the limited talents of a large heart and mouth, I find myself frustrated and discouraged sometimes at my lack of knowledge and ability to grow Abogar International Ministries well!! I fear failing these children and not being able to help them to have a greater opportunity at life!
I share this confession, not as a plea for escape or declaration of giving up, but rather as an outward cry for others to join Abogar and God’s heart for the orphaned children of Latin America! Some of you are quite gifted in the areas I greatly lack, and it may just be YOU that God would be inviting to consider somehow becoming involved in what God is doing through Abogar. At the very least, please join Abogar in prayer for these precious children who need families, homes, education, and the saving, life-altering love relationship with Jesus!! I love these kids, and I know that God does too. I will keep fighting forward, pressing on, and charging ahead, even when I know not what to do or how to do it! And I know that these tears of truth will keep rolling down. I do NOT expect that it will get easy. I am just praying that God will soon raise up like-minded and like-hearted partners in ministry to help us be all the more successful to reach these children!!