Luke 1: 78-80 (The Voice)
78 All this will flow from the kind and compassionate mercy of our God.
A new day is dawning:
the Sunrise from the heavens will break through in our darkness,
79 And those who huddle in night,
those who sit in the shadow of death,
Will be able to rise and walk in the light,[g]
guided in the pathway of peace.
80 And John grew up and became strong in spirit. He lived in the wilderness, outside the cities, until the day came for him to step into the public eye in Israel.
It is a good feeling when things fall into place. In that moment when you can see the road ahead and know how each step of the way will be. Granted it does not always go according to plan, but in that moment of realization of how and why things work, it is beautiful. I imagine it was how the disciples felt as they watched Jesus enter Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. Adoring fans waving palms and singing “Hosanna in the Highest”, validation for them of the previous three years of hunger, uncertainty, incredulousness. Little did they know of what the next many years would hold as they pursued The Way.
That is the thing about paths and planning. No matter what you think will happen, no matter how carefully you plan, and identify every possible detour to encounter, you just can not be certain, ever. For example, right now I am sitting in rural Mozambique’s version of a coffee shop trying to write this. I started this post at the Hospital, but after the third unscheduled guest/interruption, I made the conclusion to get any work done I would have to leave…work. My mind has been preoccupied planning and scheduling the “Sustainability of Community” project. I try to identify pitfalls and shortcomings, so that I may properly plan the maneuvering to ensure we can provide security and benefit to the workers at Chicuque Rural Hospital. In an effort to be proactive rather than reactive, I find myself encompassed in this pathway planning. And through out each divergent rabbit hole, I am assured of one thing, this project has merit. Everyone who learns of the plan, be it spiritual mentors, hospital advisory team, outside donor partners all agree providing a years worth of salary security for the Methodist employees can prove a ripple effect of sustainability and development for the people of Chicuque and Mozambique. Last week, Elizabeth and I introduced “Sustainability of Community,” a plan which would hopefully directly impact the condition of living of those in and around the hospital. Allow me to lay out the plan for how this will work and why it is important.
Our goal is to have $12,000 given on November 29th to Chicuque Rural Hospital through the United Methodist Church’s The Advance Project. Each online gift submitted on that day will be recorded and date stamped. We will be able to check the account and know the total amounted donated and then earmark it as restricted use for salaries. The money will then be transferred to our specific bank account which salaries are paid from, so as not get lost with the operational account. Each month on the 1st of the month, salaries will be distributed to the employees. And that’s the pathway, seems simple enough huh? I hope it proves to be.
Hard to believe $12,000 goal will cover the salary for the Methodist employees for the year, but it is true. I will be honest, with more money donated on that day, more employees can be hired. The hospital is in dire need of a plumber and an electrician. As the 103 year old buildings begin to crumble, having someone on staff who can stave off the collapse would be beneficial beyond measure. But my duty and guarantee is to the current employees, those who are working hard today, in the rain, to ensure the safety and responsibility of the patients.
The roadblocks to seeing the “Sustainability of Community” pathway achieved are hard to prepare against. The burden falls to me for communication of the need and the request for help. It also falls on you, to be stirred within enough to consider sponsoring a month’s salary for one employee. Fortunately for us both, it is the Holy Spirit who works in and through us to achieve God’s will. In that there is peace, in that there is hope, and above all in God’s will there is love.
Prepare your own path to journey along side us and the Mozambican people as we petition for God’s help and love in the development of the community here. Mark you calendar for November 29th Giving Tuesday to be ready to donate online. Please speak to your church’s mission chair to reach out to your congregation to multiple the giving. Consider your coworkers combining to sponsor an employee for an entire year. A baseline for stability and security can be established in this endeavor, one worthy of the hands and feet of Christ.