Monday, January 16, 2012

Deanna and part of our Mexico team

Before entering vocational ministry, I worked for over 20 years with people who have developmental disabilities. I saw a wide array of brokeness and need in that time. The enemy seeks to destroy families through varied means, including the issues surrounding this population. Subsequently, the majority of those I spent time with were from broken homes.

I have so many memories and stories from those years. Recently, I've found myself thinking about them. I have recieved word over the past two years that many of these people have passed away.

Working with them was so rewarding. Their outlook on life, though most had few resources and little to look forward to (from a worldly perspective), was amazing. They loved life and relationships! I learned much from them.

As a man, I have a mind that responds to most things visual. Sometimes that is good, and other times, not so much.

I didn't used to believe that television had an impact on my thoughts or actions. Then I spent a week or two period, fasting from all forms of media. I was amazed how much my thoughts and attitudes were more like my Saviors through that period. I just didn't realize how subtly sin can enter and become a part of my life.

Things we recognize as "the norm" in our culture can turn your heart from His, one beat at a time.

One of the adults I worked with, carried a dual diagnosis of mild retardation and mild mental illness.

She did not look like one who had a disability. She was capable of having fairly intelligent conversations. She had a very hard life and upbringing. Part of her conditioned response to adversity, was to flee. I learned this the hard way.

I was managing a wholesale greenhouse that was a part of a social service orgnanization, at the time. My employees each had developmental disabilities in one form or another.

This woman did not work for me for long. Her 'fight or flight' response was highly developed on the flight side.

One day, after our morning break, it came to my attention that she was missing. Her supervisor had an encounter with her where correction was necessary. This resulted in her decision to leave...unnoticed.

I made several calls and then began a search.

Honestly, I was deeply concerned for her safety. She was wise to the art of flirting, but was not capable of fully processing the potential negative outcomes.

In my search, I began to visit the kind of places she had a history of fleeing to.

I entered one bar or strip club after another. To say I was a fish out of water would be an understatement. The things I saw, even in those late morning and early afternoon hours, were shocking to me.

How quickly the owners were to perceive the necessity to get their "dancers" up and working, upon my entry. I must have looked like easy prey.

As quickly as I could, I introduced myself to those in charge and stated my business... "I am seeking a missing person."

One establishment after another turned out to be a dead end. I was amazed at how many of these places existed within walking distance of our facility. I had not ever really thought about that, I guess.

Finally, upon entering one club, I found her sitting at the bar, smoking a cigarette and nursing a cup of coffee. She seemed very content.

I casually entered into conversation with her, and ultimately convinced her to leave with me.

How often in our culture do we flee difficulties to camp out in places we feel more comfortable? How many of these places would shock those who know us "Christians?"

Darkness does not seek light, it wants to remain in darkness.

Illuminating the darkness is what our lives are to be about. We are not called to judge or put down those we interact with, rather to bring them truth in His timing and as He opens opportunities before us.

Sometimes the subtle ways we embrace sin ourselves, result in unexpected relations with the most unholy of moments.

He desires for us to recognize these, lay them at His feet, and to go forward responding to how He seeks us.

His love for us brings change to our condition, and causes an increase in our desire to be in His light.

Often, what is hideous in the dark, remains active yet unnoticed until light is added.

We must ask Him to illuminate the dark places we retreat to that often reside within us.

He is faithful! Our desires change as we yield to Him.



At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for always posting just what I need to hear! This week was the first day if my bible club and no one came. I wanted to flee so badly and stop trying. I had already had adversity to this topic because the principle would not give me a date that he was ok with. You have encouraged me to stay and fight through what the Devil throws at me. I am not going to flee in the face of challenges but fight to do what I know God wants me to do. Your posts are so helpful to me.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Pray for BJ said...

Anonymous, please email me at I would like to be praying for you from a place of knowledge rather than ignorance. Fortunately, our Savior is aware of your circumstances and is interceding for you. His heart is blessed by your obedience! I praise God for you! Don't give up! What you are doing is necessary! When no one shows up, you get more intimate time with Him, alone! Praying!


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