2021 has been a very interesting year so far. It feels like we have had one foot back into some sense of normal life, and the other foot is still in Covid pandemic distress. Our spirits are longing for life to get back to normal as we knew it before the pandemic but we are being warned to stay on alert and to be on guard against and fearful of the new Covid variant that has emerged. We are constantly waiting for new restrictions to be implemented at any moment. In some ways, the uncertainty of which way we will be instructed to go, whether freedom or restrictions, is more disconcerting than being in the full-blown lock-down that we have been recently released from this summer.
God keeps bringing to my mind 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.” With this passage in mind, I am consciously choosing to step out of living in fear of Covid, or of anything else for that matter, and living in confidence and trust in our God, our Father, who is truly in control of everything. This new perspective on life has brought me great peace and comfort in these challenging days and I am making concerted efforts to share this peace-giving perspective with those God brings across my path.
In spite of all the emotional and mental distress, confusion and uncertainty plaguing us all, I have witnessed God’s faithful protection and provision for H2H and all of those He has called to be involved in this ministry. We are experiencing the same kinds of challenges that everyone else is, but because our eyes are fixed on Jesus, our hope and confidence in God continues to provide the peace and comfort we need to navigate through these uncertain times.
Covid is not the only troubling issue we are facing. So many of God’s truths are being challenged by our culture at large. Truth in general is being re-defined and personal preference and opinion have become the new “truth.” Society’s focus has unprecedently turned against Biblical values and truth which is causing great confusion in the minds of people and great chaos in our nation as a whole. This phenomenon causes my heart great sadness and I am sure that it is grieving God’s heart far more.
My prayer is that all of God’s people will dig into God’s Holy Word and seek His wisdom and discernment on how to walk with Jesus in these troubled days, staying true to His Holy word and not get swept away in the fear and confusion that is ever present. Again, remember that God is in control even though everything in our world appears to be in chaos and out of control. Those who make this conscious choice of keeping their eyes focused on Jesus and holding fast to His teachings will find true peace, comfort and courage.
The things I am encouraging us as believers to do are counter-cultural and exactly the opposite of what “Joe public” wants us to believe and is telling us to do. Standing on God’s true, authoritative Word without compromise is what we are called to do and in so doing, we honor God and bless others, which is our calling and purpose in ministry here at H2H and in our lives as Christ-followers.
May we all stand firm and confident in our faith-walk with God, holding fast to His truth and help others to discover the way to peace in our troubled world.
Change is an inevitable fact of life that we all experience throughout our lives. Sometimes change happens by surprise with very little time to wrap our minds around the situation and prepare ourselves mentally for the the change. Other times we have agonizing amounts of time to anticipate the change, either with excitement or dread. There rarely feels like just the right amount of time of preparation for the change.
Sometimes the change feels all wrong, and sometimes the change feels exactly right. Regardless of our perceptions about the change, we need to accept that change is a natural part of God's plan for our lives. and that NOTHING ever stays the same forever. The things that we wish would never change do; the things that we fear will never change do and the things that we don't expect to change do as well.
In spite of an ever changing life and world that can shake us to the very core of our being, we, as believers in Christ, can find great comfort in holding fast to the hand of our God who NEVER changes. Though our world may crumble around us, we find security on our solid rock, God Himself. Though we don't understand what or why difficult things are happening, we can find comfort in knowing that God understands and that He will be there to walk with us through the change, guiding our every step, giving strength and courage along the way. We need to remember to express thanks to God for all of the ways He loves, protects, and supports us through difficult, painful changes,
On the brighter side, we also have exciting and happy seasons of change that we can reach out and share with our God. He not only wants to hear our fears and worries, He also wants to hear our joys as well. When we have occasion to celebrate happy change, we need to remember to include God in our celebrations and express thanks to our God who has given us the blessings of change.
Finally, we will greatly benefit from learning how to accept change as a natural part of life, rather than something that is bad and needs to be stopped. When we learn how to stop fighting change, and accept it with grace and a unshakable trust in God, we will begin to experience the deep abiding peace in our very soul that God's word talks about. We never need to be afraid of or to fear change. No matter what, God is in control and He will work all things out for our good.
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these
brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
I want to challenge us to think about who is the “least of these.” I believe that the answer to this question is relative. We may have very different definitions based on how God has opened our individual eyes to the needs/needy in our world. Some would answer that children are the least of these, some would say the homeless, others might say orphans, and still others might say the poor. Every answer is correct based on the awareness of needs that God has placed on each of our hearts.
I want to challenge those of us in the mental health arena to consider the question, “Who is the ‘least of these’?” through the lens of who is the most under-served by mental health services. I propose that individuals with developmental and/or physical disabilities are greatly under-served by the mental health community. These individuals have emotional and mental health struggles like anyone else. They experience grief and loss, trauma, abuse, abandonment, depression, anxiety, fear, aging and health issues, and the list goes on and yet there are very few mental health service providers that are trained and equipped to serve these precious people.
I am a Qualified Mental Retardation Professional (QMRP). In addition to my traditional clients, I also serve individuals who have developmental or severe physical disabilities. Serving these special people presents many unique challenges for the mental health professional. Traditional therapy/counseling techniques are less than effective simply because of the disabilities themselves.
There is a tremendous need for mental health professionals to serve people with developmental and/or physical disabilities. If God has opened your eyes to the needs of and given you a heart of compassion for these dear ones, I want to encourage you to make a conscious effort to take advantage of training that is available to your through H2H. Please contact us to schedule a training seminar for you and your colleagues on this very important topic. For information on available training on this very important topic, please call 815-796-2207 for more details. We look forward to hearing from you!
I want to highlight an often-overlooked fact regarding our H2H staff. We ALL are serving as either missionaries or volunteers! No one takes home a salary from H2H. Our missionaries, just like overseas missionaries, work to gather their own personal financial support to serve as an income for their ministry work.
The fact that our staff are all missionaries and volunteers is a testament to our staff's commitment to the ministry that God has called them to! We are not in the helping "business" to make money, we are here because we are called by God and have a passion for helping the hurting, lost and broken in our area of influence. We are not gifted fundraisers! We NEED people like you to come alongside of us to financially support us so that we can focus on what God has called us to do . . . counsel and minister here at H2H. Please consider joining us in ministry by financially adopting a missionary by helping to fully fund their missionary support so that they can continue to serve here at H2H.
God has brought amazing people to serve at here at H2H! Our clients are tremendously blessed to have access to such quality service providers, whether they be counselors, office staff, or student interns. We all have a love for God, a servant's heart and a passion to help the hurting. It is a privilege and honor to serve alongside these dear people!